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A Scene-setting for Alban Eilir-by Polly Morris

   The land is dimly lit by a pale pre-dawn light, and in the East, low in the lightening sky, shines the brilliant and lovely Morning Star, the light of Venus herself, illuminating the half-darkness. A sudden breeze, harbinger of dawn, stirs the long grasses, stiffened by frost. Fragments of mist hang over the land, partly obscuring it. Among the gorse bushes something is moving; the grasses stir again as a dark form passes among them, disappearing into the deep shade under the knotted gorse shoots then re-appearing in the twilight.

   The moving shadow emerges into a hollow of short, sweet turf, and its shape becomes apparent - it is Hare.  His furry body is the colour of the earth upon which he moves; the long ears are exquisitely sensitive and fragile, and twitch with every sound. The large dark eyes glow in the half-light, the long whiskers tremble. He stops for a moment, one slim and delicate fore-paw raised.

   A lapwing sounds its husky call and the hare is gone, hidden once again among the tussocky grasses. And there, in the hollow of short, rabbit-nibbled turf, lies a most beautiful egg, olive-coloured and speckled dark brown, shining in the soft green grass. The first low rays of the rising sun touch the egg, and slowly, slowly it turns to gold.

   A tall figure stoops to lift the egg. She is olive-skinned and dark-eyed, her shimmering hair is the colour of ripe corn. Her lovely robe is a tissue of bright leaves, flower petals, feathers, butterfly and dragonfly wings. She is Ceridwen, Goddess of the Mysteries.

   She cradles the egg in the palms of her hands and it begins to change from gold to bronze, from cosmic egg to empty cauldron, hollow and round. She warms the cauldron with her hands, and from it rises a vapour, a sweet breath that expands into sound, a long O-O-O. It is the sound of the infinite void, the voice of the hollow O of infinite potential. It is the breath that gives life and shape to language, that takes Voice and Breath and manifests Word. It is the O of the Equinox in the Gorse month and of the seed that manifests into Life.

   And all around, as the light strengthens, all of Nature gives voice in homage to the young Sun as the dawn chorus rises from every tree and bush and blade of grass to greet the Lord of Light. Earth gives out her sweet aroma in response, and every living thing gives way to the urge to make manifest life in all its glorious forms in the strengthening light and warmth.