The velvet night surrounds and covers me, soft, soothing, seductive in its gentleness. It is warm but still I shiver. The Stone behind me emanates the warmth of the previous day; its presence is alive, awake, watching. I am as aware of it as my own true friend.
I hear the collective breath of my tribe down the hillside, sleeping until they hear my call….. I vigil for them. For me… with the Stone. The Stone has waited for times before, so many times before. It has seen our people come and go, watched over the tribe, sorrow and sun, fight and flower. Stood sentinel to the gateway between this and the other~world. My mind drifts as I hear the echoes of those gone before, see parts of their story, feel their fears, dance their celebrations.
From a distance, further than the strides on this ground, I hear a fox call, his voice oddly softened by the nights weight. An owl screeches and then silhouetted against the moon, flows across the night, silent and deadly.
swiftly silenced death of the prey slices the night. I bow my head, acknowledging the mother’s right to take and give back what is hers. Movement in the field below, more shadow on lighter space, marks the passing of badger, ambling on his solitary walk, swinging heavily side to side.. He has no fear and does not bother to hide himself. The mark of the ancient ones astride his back, the dark and the light, means that the tribes won’t harm him. Not this night when the battle begins again.
The horizon shifts its night pallor and a suggestion of grey starts to lift the night…. I stand and taking up my staff start to chant softly. The Stone begins to pulse behind me, and I start to feel lost in the presence of its life beat and the chant. I tighten the grip on my staff; I recall my name, my history, my right to be here. I deepen the chant and feel the stone resonate behind me. The light turns to silver then as I watch the pinking of the early dawn starts to herald the sun.
The night moves around me, fleeing before the light. I raise my chant and call. The people start to stir, joy rises as the sun’s disc starts to show its I feel light headed. I raise my staff to the sky and call out the invocation. The Stone opens itself, its presence welcomes me and we become one in this dance to raise the sun once again.
The birds join in the invocation in one huge welcome, relief in their song as in mine that the sun returns once more. Sadness too, as we know that at his height the Sun King will fall, and the slow cold ingress of winter will once again clothe the land with grey and white, frost and fear. For now though, only glory as the forged light floods the land with golden glamour; light and the colours return to the day, painted by the Kings gracious hands. The People surround me , their ululations rise with the whistles, drums and voices. The full disk appears surrounded by the cloudy entourage of pinks, gold and yellows.
I feel elevated in my chant, opened out and free flying. One with all that surrounds me. My chant slows and softens, I come back to earth, the Stone weights me, and brings me reluctantly back to my body. It covers itself with immutability once more and I am chilled but exulted in the early morning light my vigil complete.
Tynan Elder Oak