December twilight, and a waxing moon looks over my shoulder bored with another obligatory ode. But tonight I’ve got a date with Orion; its a long drive, but he’s got a cool dog and a fine bow––he lost that silly club years ago. When we’re done with Taurus––I owe him that––we’ll rove the starry woods, provoke the coyotes to howl, stalk the Great Bear then settle an old score with silver-tongue––Draco will be expecting us since he’s got something of ours.
Our vigil nearly done; the fire embers drowning in ash. We watched the full moon go new, then suddenly wax again––a month coiled into 5 hours. We fed our fire on pine knots and burned our way through the dragon, arriving safely on another shore––the moon shared a few secrets along the way. I was worried about her, cut off from the light of her beloved sun, but in her red-pearl fullness, she was blushing with another light––one entirely her own. Somewhere near the heart of the dragon, I found that prayer is light.
Wild Persimmons bring our solar year to a sweet conclusion. A young fruitful tree on the point of a small island at Hunnicutt Lake, drew me to paddle over.
Under a grey December sky and before a crowd of slumbering trees, the fruit was glowing like amber-lit ornaments. Under the spell of a sentiment, I declared it my holiday tree.
From ancient American Lore comes a story of a destitute Orphan, who’d lost his wealth to the schemes of Rabbit. Wandering alone, the youth finds a Persimmon tree full of berries. He climbs to nourish himself, then makes a paste from the fruit to smear over his body. As the paste dries, it contracts his skin, giving the boy the appearance of an old man. Disguised in this way, the Orphan travels safely into unknown country.
In our August days, the afternoon Cicada buzz––the sound of southern heat––fades into twilight enchantments of the Katydid rattle. Rattles rattling through late summer nights cooling, then break into the wake of the silence––the dew-heavy webs strewn across meadow’s morning explain everything. You ought to see the spiraling arrow scatter these otherworldly pearls of dawn. And speaking of pearls, the Moon, as you know, swells toward another crisis, ahead of its fateful encounter with the sun.
In the lore of America’s First Nations is the story of Earth Diver, a mythic precursor of our local Crayfish. Narrations tell of an age when the need arose for new land to appear above the primeval sea, but where such treasure could be procured was lost to the deliberating assembly. Crayfish raised the hopes of the clueless, speaking of a place where such mass could be found; reaching it, however, required the special talent of divers such as himself. The assembly consented to the project and Crayfish descended beneath the trembling surface of the sea. For long days he was missed, and as patience gave way to despair, a color change in the water heralded his return.
Lifting heavy claws above the water’s surface, Earth Diver brought forth the mass for new land; he did so by gathering and then piling clay from the deep-sea bed into a great mound which finally rose above the water’s surface. His service rendered, twas left to other mythic engineers to make the earth suitable for the beings & events to come. Today, Earth Diver’s Crayfish progeny demonstrate the talent of their illustrious Ancestor in the closing moon of winter, reminding us of all that’s gone before to make possible all that is still to come.