All Begins Again


Brother Owl: Winged wisdom

Nowhere is the tiniest glimmer of light more present than in darkness. Brother Owl knew this, because Owl knew a lot about the shadows. After all, that’s where he lived, did his best work. He had tried to share this experience with the young ones, but their ears were not often open to hear his truth. Long had he labored with this realization, for how he wanted to share what he had seen through his many years, until in his own search for wisdom, he began to understand that, truly, each being must learn to be a light unto themselves – and his experience, however deep, could never be valid for another.

And yet he longed to share this secret, the stories he had seen, the songs he had only felt in those depths, when, after a long, seemingly endless night in which many had become lost, falling asleep in their tracks, unable to navigate, the light would always, eventually return, all in its own good time. Those in their slumber, far below his lofty perch, in their weariness often missed the most magical glimmer – the glimmer that only those who remained awake in the darkness had the possibility of seeing.

First there would be nothingness, no-thing-ness, darker than ever, darker still than Raven’s wings after he sacrificed his precious coat of white to bring back the light of the sun from the pool in which it had been trapped. But that is not a story for today. Today Owl will speak, of what he has seen in that magical moment when the Light returns. First, the darkness, blackness, so thick one finds it hard to breathe, and yet even that is possible, when one slows and gently inhales, exhales, peacefully, calmly, even in its midst.

And then, even as the reign of night continues, a subtle shift occurs. One feels it first, deep within the bones. No light appears, and yet somehow the blackness begins to fade, becomes a midnight blue, dark, navy, like the deepest depth of water in which the finned ones glide, safe in their shadows, and the faces of the trees begin to stand out against the horizon.

If one is awake, one may notice this shift, a deep stirring, one may not be sure of what, to what, from what, and yet, it is there. Quiet, subtle, the wisdom of the hermit, the crone, something deep, deeper still, deep within, a movement without movement, a dance within the darkness… deep… deep…. Deep…

Those who are awake may shift their glance, not stirring yet, not time for that – only the eyes move – watching, waiting, hardly breathing – what is coming next? Be ready. Those buried in the leaves below may stir unconsciously, deep in their sleep, even there feeling the breath that moves quietly among them all. It is coming.

And the midnight blue continues to fade, indigo shades to violet, a gentle luminescence rising, and the most stunning colors begin to erupt in the sky above the horizon, reds, blues, yellows, purples, a gift not many see – only those who have remained awake in the darkness. The light is not there yet, only its reflection, and yet how glorious that.

The early risers stir once more, and the sounds of life begin… a gentle cheeping there, a chirping, a morning song of joy, even in that darkness – how can it be? And yet there it is, without question. And with the songs, others begin to stir, Owl watching them move, stretching, shifting, fawning, loving their blanket of earth all the more as they contemplate awakening.

And then it happens. The fanfare is silent, more potent than a thousand drumbeats, grandiose in its strength. In the darkness, a crack appears and brightness, so powerful one cannot look upon it – the Light. Father Sun has returned and just the mere glimpse of his glory erupts the world into splendor. The world has been born yet again, life returning one more time to this beautiful dream we call home.


And with his arrival – as if with the crash of cymbals, the flash of lightning, a power so strong beyond imagination – the world awakens, and the birds begin to fly and sing their songs of glory – it is here, he has risen – the light has returned, we may rejoice and live yet again. On mountain crag the condors stretch their wings in worship of his rays, in meadows low the songbirds lift their voices in blissful harmony, all in perfect balance as they lay cradled on their mother’s breast, and welcome the return of their father.

The Whole is Complete, cycled once again to reveal yet another facet, another perfection, another be-ing. High in his perch, Owl nods to himself, content that he may now relinquish his watch to his elder brother.

Drifting into slumber, he sings a lullaby that only he can hear, words strange in Owl tongue, and yet we know his verse: So it was, and so it is, and so it shall be, friends. The light, the dark, beginning, end, and all begins again.

© 2012 Mary Batson,
Written upon visiting the Circle of One in Silver Spring, MD
All rights reserved, especially the one to dance in the moonlight as well as the sun.


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