A Song for Dark

December 17, 2011 by Categorized: Restorying the Sacred.

Once upon a time, which is not time as you and I know it, Dark and Light held equal power. They were not universally loved, this is true: some beings flourished in Light and feared Dark, while others thrived in Dark and shunned Light; but everyone understood that each was an unavoidable reality, and that each played a vital role in the life of Gaia.

Then one day, which is not a day as you and I know it, the Upright Folk came to have a bit of power in the world. The Upright Folk loved Light and dreaded Dark; Dark-loving creatures often hunted them, creatures with faster legs and sharper teeth and keener eyes. But the Upright Folk were so clever that they soon discovered ways to store Light to use in times of Dark. They crammed Dark into smaller spaces and times of day and year, until very little remained for it, and the endless celebration of Light left many of Dark’s beings dazed and disordered, blundering about without homes in a bright landscape.

Worst of all was the singing. On Light’s most powerful day, the Upright Folk sang songs of its triumph, as was fitting, but on Dark’s most powerful night, they sang only about their gladness that Light would soon return.

Dark despaired. It could think of nothing it had done wrong, yet the Upright Folk seemed determined to banish it from their lives. Dark moped and fell into a dark mood, which, since it was Dark, was very dark, indeed.

candles in a snow labyrinth on Winter Solstice night

Snow labyrinth. Photo by Leora Effinger-Weintraub.

And then, one night, which is a night as you and I know it, only much, much longer, Dark heard a new song. Some of the Upright Folk were singing songs about Dark — celebrating it! Dark listened deeper, and beneath the songs it heard a silence — a silence in its honor! Dark looked across the world, into the nests of the Upright Folk, and saw that some had turned off their clever Light devices and had chosen, through that long, long night, to sit with Dark. Dark felt loved, and Dark felt stronger.

More nights passed. More days passed. More Upright Folk sat in silence and dark. Some of their tribes even agreed not to use so many of their clever Light devices, because they missed Dark and the beings who loved it. Dark gleamed black with joy. The Upright Folk still feared it, and they would always treasure Light more, but they understood that each was an unavoidable reality, and that each played a vital role in the life of Gaia. Once upon a time, perhaps, equal power would be restored.

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11 Responses

  1. Just lovely.

    I have been lamenting light pollution so acutely this season. While reading this story, I felt as though it was written just for me, speaking for me. Thank you, thank you.

  2. This is my favorite of your tales so far, a lovely story for solstice. Thank you, dear one!

  3. Such a beautiful story about a necessary balance.

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