Hail, great day of Light and Dark divided,
When perfect balance rules their age-old strife!
Though darkness grows, let our steps be guided
Through all the flickering shadows, to life
Unfettered by hopelessness or despair.
We turn our backs to the simmering coals,
And search the night with new-accustomed eyes.
At first our search yields nothing, since the glare
From the fire draws us in — hearts and souls
Rebel at thoughts of finding truth out there,
Out in deep darkness where mysteries dwell,
Where strangeness is oft equated with fear;
We mistake angels for demons from Hel,
And heat and light claim us, and keep us near.
Yet turn to the lessons that cold can teach;
Hasten and listen to the shadows’ story;
Sit and study in the school of the dark.
There’s wisdom to be found in barn owl’s screech;
Ant and blind mole dig their roads to glory;
Wolf’s howl leaves behind a shivering mark —
Even crisp autumn days share their lessons
To bend and let go, to dig in and dream.
Make preparation, for time still hastens,
And the chill breath drawn in puffs out as steam.
The mountains are chanting hymns of fire,
And crow croaks out his twilight orisons.
Take heed of their rites from your sunset seat,
And turn your eyes from the dying pyre
To embrace Autumn and her benisons:
Her shadows in our eyes, her drafts on our feet.