Once Upon a Solstice Eve
Daylight dims, night is near,
Alone I sit, intention clear.
Fire set to warm the night,
Throughout the house, all is right...
For waiting out the longest dark.
To ancient ways I now will hark.
Spark the match, fan the flames,
Recall to mind the ancient names.
Ceredwen, Merlin, Morgan le Fay,
Let each one now have their say,
For in my mind their presence lives,
Their ways instruct, their wisdom gives
Solace to my troubled mind,
By a world so oft unkind
But hark, the flames are leaping high,
The Yule Log ablaze, magic is nigh.
Bar the door, go within,
Dream the dream of ancient kin,
Rabbit, fox, raven and deer,
In my soul their influence clear,
One with all, my mind at ease,
My eyelids droop, warmth a tease,
To enter now the mythic realm,
Where nature's ways are at the helm.
My tiny ship of ego self,
A plaything for a kingly elf,
"Come hither child of humankind,
Here, the truth, of life you'll find.
Leave behind your simple worry,
Come where fay and pixies scurry,
Drop the mantel of despair,
Know that here we can repair,
Your heart so worn,
Your mind so torn."
And so I dosed, while night wore on.
Aware of naught but this magic yarn,
Of a world where lies cannot be told,
Where men can weep and women be bold.
Why fear, my friend, the longest night?
It gives us time to see what's right.
While fire crackled and snowflakes danced,
I slumbered on, in winter's trance,
I dreamed a wood, covered in snow,
Dark branches bending low,
Beneath them walked the folk of fay
Nodding as they made their way,
From forest to sea, from earth to celestial home,
Oh how I longed with them to roam.
"But your place is here," so spoke the wind,
"to aid the life of all your kin."
Snowflakes danced in naked limbs,
Whispering words of ancient hymns,
And still I walked in fairy dream,
Following a crystal beam.
Until at last I saw a home,
A wooden door, its knocker bone.
"Come in," I heard. "You're welcome here,"
And so I did without fear.
A woman sat, I thought a knew,
A grandmother gray, her hair like dew.
"Welcome child, come sit a spell,
My children are gone, lost to the well
Of endless searching for what cannot be found,
Unaware that the sacred is here in the ground,
Where life begins and ends and starts again,
In root and leaf and moor and fen.
But you my child have come at last,
To bring alive the knowing past."
But 'fore I moved to ask for more,
I found myself outside the door,
Whisked away from forest dream,
The morning sun an amber gleam.
How quickly passed that longest night,
Too soon returned to morning light.
But day and Sun could not dispel
The night of dreams I'm here to tell.
For if in waking we remember ought,
Our proper place we must be taught,
Lest all the magic that gives us joy,
Be swept away, a forgotten toy.
Praise be to the turning year,
Eight times per annum the truth is clear,
We are guests upon this sphere,
Let us be humble and hold it dear.