|A seasonal story I told at a Midwinter Gorsedd of Cor Gawr a few years ago
Long long ago – or perhaps tomorrow….
An old woman stands in the darkness of a winter’s night. She is wearing thick furs from head to toe to protect her from the bitter wind, yet nothing can prevent the blizzard of snow driving against the dry, parched chapped skin of her face. There are no markers, no points of reference for her in this darkness and, as she stands there, alone, she closes her eyes; or perhaps they were already closed, or perhaps they are still open; for in this darkness it makes no difference. And she begins to dream.
And, as she dreams, her body dissolves into the darkness, atoms scattered into the void, into the nothingness of the dark. There, her dreams and visions change, become clearer, sharper, more focused.
None can say what she dreams or can see, for they are her dreams and hers alone. Yet as she dreams she holds out hands, unseen, unformed, into the darkness. and begins to spin those dreams into fine threads of gold and silver and green, spinning the threads with the magic of potential from the unformed emptiness around her. Then with those unseen hands. she begins to weave those threads, weaving her hopes and desires and plans into the threads, weaving the seeds of possibility, crafting from those threads a tapestry of her own unique song, weaving her own reality.
Suddenly she is back in her physical body, in the same darkness, the same bitter cold. But now all is still, all is quiet. She knows that if she takes a few steps in any direction the storm will return, will take her into its cruel loving embrace; but here, in the still centre of her circle, of her knowing, all is still and quiet.
The old woman bends down on to her knees, aching joints and bones filling her with pain; she takes two stones from her pocket and strikes them together. A spark appears… and fades. She strikes the stones a second time and again the spark fades. A third time, and this time it ignites a bundle of firewood before her; and a small fragile flame flickers and dances before her. Slowly the flame grows brighter, stronger, revealing in the centre of the fire, unharmed, untouched by the flames, a majestic Holly tree. Holly, unchanged, unchanging; and she knows that around Holly spins the seasons, spins our lives. Yet Holly remains, always bright, ever green. The old woman smiles, knowing.
She reaches out her left hand and there she finds her tapestry, woven from the threads of her dreams in the dark. She strokes the weft and the warp of her weaving, she picks the delicate tapestry up to look at it with eyes that, despite their age, miss nothing; and as she does so it transforms into a perfect sprig of mistletoe, milky silver white berries, green foliage; the berries holding the seeds, the potential, the promise, the magic of dreams held. And she knows….
For now, her work is done.
Wishing you all a wonderful Midwinter and a peaceful joyous Yuletide
and may the returning light bring you peace prosperity and abundance