Around the Motherhouse Blog
- Created: 31 December 2013
YULE 3573 BCE
The big warrior stepped carefully around her sleeping Tribe mates. With the soft glow of the embers from that old hearth, she could just make out the small form of Maki, lying on her side and curled up into a mound. Tem bent down and touched the sleeping youngster lightly, patting softly a portion of the lump that she thought was a shoulder. The girl sat up, squinting in the dim light and looked up expectantly.
Good, Tem thought, the girl’s training was holding. Youngsters in the Tribe were taught to make no noise upon waking, even when surprised. In some situations, noise could mean life or death for some. Tem pointed her chin toward the cave opening and gestured for the girl to come.
Maki rose quietly, shedding a pile of skins, and made her way to the cave entrance. Tem held open the covering just wide enough for them to exit, and they stepped together out into the dark morning.
Tem led the girl short distance from the cave under a stand of Pines, and turned toward her. Standing tall, she held her staff up above her head. “This is the morning after the longest night. The old hearth fire is dying. As Guardian to the Queen, it is my responsibility to supply a new Yule log for the coming turn of the seasons. Once the sun rises, the Queen and many helpers will empty the Hearth of ashes and debris, and clean the space afresh. When she is ready, She will signal us to light the new Yule log and rejuvenate the fire. I have chosen you to assist me.”
The girl did not reply. She simply stood and shivered. Tem stood silent, watching the girl. The Hearth Queen had been correct. The girl was experiencing the depression that sometimes attacked in the dark time. Tem hoped she could help the girl begin to turn herself toward the light. This kind of lethargy could infect others in the Tribe.
“Before we scout out the sacred tree and cut the new Yule log, I have something to show you. Follow me.” Tem turned and walked briskly away, not looking back to see if the girl followed.
Maki hesitated, and then became afraid. Tem moved so quietly that Maki could not see where she had gone. It was so dark! She quickly started to walk in the direction Tem had taken. Before she had taken 5 strides, Tem appeared in front of her. ”come.” she said.
Tem led the girl uphill. They were quickly at the edge of the trees. As they entered the big clearing, the night seemed to lighten a bit. In the middle of the clearing, Tem turned once more to the girl. “Before we take the log from the sacred tree, we must prepare ourselves.”
Tem held her hands to the sky, facing the mountain and spoke “Mother, we thank you for the dark and for the light; for the sun and the moon. We thank you for the life we have experienced in this turn of the wheel, and ask for your continued support and guidance.”
She turned to the girl and spoke softly “I know you are not thankful for the dark, and that you yearn for the warm mornings to come. But look up, young warrior. What do you see?”
The girl looked up. “I see the moon and the stars.” She replied. “They are beautiful.”
“And did you not learn this summer how to navigate by using the stars?” Tem asked her.
“I did. There is the North Star.” The girl pointed.
“Maki—if you are lost in the woods and cannot find your way to the river and our village, what should you do?” Tem asked.
The youngster made a “tsk” noise. It was a very elementary question. “Wait for night, of course. Find the North Star and go in the opposite direction till you find the river.”
“So, young Guardian, the dark DOES have value. The dark guides us and helps us find our center, and our home. Without the dark, we could all be lost.”
Tem could see the light of awareness come into the eyes of the girl. She laid her big hand on the shoulder of the girl.
“Now, we are ready. Let’s go find a sacred tree. This turn you will light the yule log for our people. For this task can be done only by one who has learned the lesson of the Dark.”
YULE 2013 CE
Forget not the value of the darkness. For only in the dark can we see the stars.
That is my lesson for this Yule. I have been told that due to a funding issue and through no fault of my own, I will be laid off on Dec 30 from the new job I have so loved. I am sad. I knew taking the job that it was a project position, subject to Congressional funding. But I never even considered that the idiots in Washington would take out their vitriol upon those who are trying so hard to assist the long term unemployed. Silly me.
But the Wheel and the Tribe always come through when I need them. I have been guided toward another position, permanent this time. One that will provide me with the opportunity to do some good, and in the field I want, and with a little more money.
I am confident, as the light returns, that this ending will spark a new fire, a new beginning that will serve me and my Tribe and allow me the opportunity to do good work.
I have learned from Experience, and from the Hearth Queen, that in tough times, one must keep a good thought, a clean heart, and soldier on.
And so it goes…..