Life is heavy loaded on my shoulder in the long shadows of late November; my cottage is cold, and quiet in candlelight, but out beyond the gate, our ancient mother calls me to the dance of dayend. Just before the sun sets behind the line of tall pines, I, in my winter wool, walk out into the silence, to stand still on my step, as the wood wind begins.
Curled, crisp oak leaves, like field mice, skitter and click across the cobblestones, beneath leafless locust branches that sway in hypnotic joy, as the senior silver maple joins the whispering rhythm. A kettle of vultures’ allemande left, above the east valley branch, seems like silhouettes of graceful angels in the air. Beyond their flight, clouds circle from the north in silence surrounding, miming the sun’s last rhyme. The waxing moon, the soloist on this stage, rises slowly, softly, higher into the vault of heaven.
Beneath the woodwind’s whisper, I join the dance as the circle's still center, while the unseen symphony, the ancient mother, whirls around me. I am the still, steady beat of breathing in, breathing out. The still dancing.
A flutter of dark-eyed juncos trill, and scratch at the pine needle floor, searching, in this day's leaving light, for the last sunflower seeds of the season; the dance slowing into winter rest, listening close, attuned to the still breathing in, and breathing out. Still.