The Mourning After the Night
An Ostara Story
All was quiet in the valley,
Though something silent stirred . . .
Like the realm between sleep and waking,
Where memories and dreams are heard . . .
The Moon caressed the mountains,
Beginning Her descent.
The ancient winds grew still and quiet,
Knowing well what the good-bye meant.
The forest voices, murmurs soft,
Began their final song,
Bidding farewell to Winter’s embrace;
To the slumber they’d held so long.
And at that moment, almost missed,
Amid the thinning dark,
Breaking free from the edge of the wood,
A swift black shadow did embark . . .
Darting over the sleeping grass,
Fresh from the snow’s release,
The Cat didn’t make a single sound
As a glow began in the East.
A magick circle left behind,
An ancient sacred space,
Hidden from all that could not feel it,
Made the most perfect meeting place.
She reached the spot and settled in,
Tucking her paws in close,
Then perking her ears, she turned her head,
As a second shadow arose . . .
Arcing over the pointed tops,
A silent silhouette,
The Raven approached with perfect grace,
And the Moon continued to set.
Sounds of the pending dawn did pause;
The Old One’s presence known.
He settled himself above the Cat,
Upon an ancient standing stone.
“Greetings, Wise One,” the Cat meowed,
As her tail gently swayed.
“How fare thee on this Ostara Eve,
When the Winter begins to fade?”
The Raven bowed his head to her,
The last stars shining bright;
“I welcome the turning of the Wheel,
And the shifts that follow this night.”
A twinkle flickered in her eyes,
Excitement true and pure;
“I can feel it in the air,” she purred.
“Change is coming; of that I’m sure.
“The Goddess is awakening;
Her daughter has returned.
We rejoice and celebrate with Her,
As She receives all that She’s yearned.”
The sky continued to lighten,
Behind the Raven’s perch,
And the dawn proceeded, creeping in,
Whispering of the Spring’s rebirth.
“Changes, yes,” the Raven agreed.
“And challenges to come,
For those whose Winter lasted too long;
Whose hearts have grown weary and numb.”
Hearing the warning in his words,
The Cat rose to her feet.
Meowing in curiosity,
She paced as the Raven did speak . . .
“It is no small wonder,” he said,
“In the darkest season,
How many hopes begin to crumble,
Losing touch with deepest reason.
“Waiting, waiting, ever the more,
For Light to come again;
Moments stretch into eternity
When Love is no longer at hand.
“Begging the gift of temperance,
Pleading their Will to wait,
Many lonely Souls grow lost in Time,
Questioning the cruelty of Fate.”
As the sky above grew paler,
The Earth began to hum.
The last of the moonlight disappeared,
And in the distance – there – a drum . . .
As the misty morning began,
The Cat did feel a chill,
Thinking of those who would not awake
When the Sun crept over the hill.
“The Great Secret,” said the Raven,
“Buried deep in our bones,
Is that nothing can take our power;
It will forever be our own.
“But the Mind can be a trickster –
Take it from one who knows;
It will whisper riddles in the dark,
Making monsters out of shadows.
“And so it goes, onward and on,
Pulling them further down,
Until they’ve forgotten who they are;
Until they’ve forgotten their crown.”
“But how? But why?” the Cat meowed,
“Can nothing bring them back?”
Soft grey clouds began to claim the ground,
Clawing slowly to where they sat.
“They must recall the face of Love;
They must remember why
They first held hope that grace would return;
It is without this hope they die.”
As the Raven’s words settled in,
The morning came alive –
The crows called out and the wolves called back,
Announcing at last it was time.
“The dawn is coming; we should go,”
The Cat told the Raven.
Stepping to the edge of the circle;
Of their temporary haven.
Then the Sun broke the horizon;
Sacred, lustrous jewel.
The time to depart was upon them,
For there was much for them to do.
“Remember this,” the Raven said,
Preparing to take flight –
“The beholder’s eye holds all the keys
To famine and fortune in sight.”
The shimmering shafts pierced the trees;
In joy the dew did weep.
And the heartbeat of the Great Mother
Sounded, pulsating from the Deep . . .
Gold flashed across the Raven’s eyes,
And he spread his great wings.
“The choice to rise is always the same,
Whether asked of paupers or kings.”
The fog rolled in heavy blankets,
A dance of shadow and light . . .
And both the Cat and the Raven
Silently vanished from sight.
Ostara blessings, dear Corvidae . . .