The Solstice Story

December 21, 2017

 

It was the beginning of time. There was nothing but empty blackness.

The Mother of All Things, alone in the dark, began to sing. Her song was the song of creation.

As she sang, all that heard her answered her call and tumbled from the void into existence.

First, she sang into being a crown of stars upon her head and a train of comets behind her.

Then she sang into being a canopy of stars above her head and a carpet of stars beneath her feet.

Thus crowned and clothed, she danced upon her carpet of stars and sang stars into being until every corner of the universe was studded with starlight.

 

 

When she had finished making the stars, she sang the Earth, with undulating mountains and trembling black waters, into being. She breathed a mighty breath onto the surface of the waters and her breath became the wind.

The Earth was bathed in darkness, so she took out her right eye and her right eye became Lady Sun. She took out her left eye and her left eye became Brother Moon.

She set Lady Sun and Brother Moon to watch over the Earth. Then she danced away upon her carpet of stars to the farthest reaches of the universe. Her song of creation became fainter and fainter until it could barely be heard at all.

 

For immeasurable time, Lady Sun and Brother Moon watched without cease over the Earth. She knew no night and day, only the constant and loving gaze of those two unblinking eyes each one as bright as the other.

 

Unsurprisingly, the Earth loved all the attention. But it also made her a tiny bit embarrassed, stark naked as she was. So little by little she grew a cape of lush emerald green and then, because she was a little bit vain, she studded it with jewels of every colour you could imagine.

After immeasurable time, the Mother of All Things began to dance towards the Earth upon her carpet of stars. As she got closer and closer, her song of creation became louder and louder.

She sang out to the Earth, “Daughter Earth, how is it with you?”

The Earth replied, “I am bathed in the perpetual light of Lady Sun and Brother Moon, and my cape is lush and emerald green, and all is very well.”

The Mother of All Things smiled to herself, and as she danced away from the Earth, her train of comets trailing behind her. Her song of Creation became fainter and fainter and fainter until it could barely be heard at all.

After immeasurable time, Brother Moon got tired of watching the Earth. The light of his eye grew dimmer and dimmer, and his eyelid became lazy. It drifted down and down his great eye, so that sometimes he was just peeking through a tiny slit between his eyelids.

Meanwhile, Lady Sun got restless. She said to herself, “I am so bored of looking at the Earth all the time. Surely there must be other things to look at in this vast universe? Here I am, so beautiful and sparkling! I’m not a one-planet sort of a sun, I want to go and explore!”

So Lady Sun went off. She travelled all around the Universe, laughing and spinning, and flashing her fabulous smile and sparkling eyes at all the stars and planets that she came across. Everywhere she went she was admired, and she became vainer and vainer and vainer.

 

 

The Earth, abandoned by Lady Sun and left with the faint and blinking gaze of Brother Moon, got quite depressed. She started neglecting herself. Her beautiful cape of emerald green became dowdy and brown, and all its coloured jewels dropped away.

After immeasurable time, the Mother of All Things began to dance upon her carpet of stars towards the Earth. As she got closer and closer, her song of creation became louder and louder.

She sang out to the Earth, “Daughter Earth, how is it with you?”And the Earth replied, “Oh Mother, all is not well. Brother Sun has become lazy and his light has grown dim. He blinks until sometimes his eye is only a tiny slit. But there’s worse than that. Lady Sun has disappeared altogether!”

 

Upon hearing this, the Mother of All Things flew into a mighty rage. Her song of creation became a shout and then a scream, and she stomped off across her carpet of stars to each of the far corners of the universe until she heard the tinkling and flirtatious laughter of Lady Sun.

 

“Lady Sun”, screamed the Mother of All Things, “I have set you to watch over the Earth and you have betrayed me, you who were once my very eye! Go back to the Earth at once! If I catch you wandering away again, I will extinguish your light for good!”

 

Lady Sun did as she was told. She sped back to the Earth as fast as she could and joined Brother Moon in the sky. Together they watched the Earth again, Brother Moon getting dimmer and sleepier, and Lady Sun getting brighter and more restless. The Earth became happier again, and her cape became verdant green again.After another immeasurable time, Lady Sun had an idea.

 

“Oh Brother Moon,” she whispered, “I’ve found a way to let you rest, and give me time to wander about the universe without upsetting the Earth. Let’s take it in turns to shine upon her. While I am shining, you can sleep, and while you are shining, I can take a jaunt to visit some of my admirers!”

 

“Ho,” said Brother Moon, sleepily, “that sounds like a fine idea.” And he fell asleep straight away until Lady Sun woke him up again. And so Lady Sun and Brother Moon shone each in turn. It suited the Earth quite well, because when Brother Moon was shining dimly and especially when his eye was just a slit, she got some much-needed beauty sleep, which she appreciated as she was now getting quite old.

 

But Lady Sun was cunning. She listened out for the Mother of All Things and her Song of Creation. When she could hear the song very faintly, she knew that the Mother of All Things was at the farthest reaches of the universe, far far away from the Earth.

 

At these times, she shone upon the Earth for shorter and shorter times, so that she could wander further and further to visit her admirers. Brother Moon didn’t notice that he was getting less and less rest. But the Earth spent more and more time asleep, and as she slept, her verdant green canopy became brown and its jewels dropped away.

 

But when Lady Sun heard the Song of Creation become louder, she knew that the Mother of All Things was coming to visit the Earth. So she spent more and more time shining upon the Earth, and the Earth in her awakeness grew back her emerald green canopy with its shining jewels.

 

In the time of the Summer Solstice we know that Lady Sun is shining long, for the Mother of All Things has come to visit the Earth to ask, “Daughter Earth, how is it with you?”

 

And in the Winter Solstice, we know that the Mother of All Things is far away visiting the stars and planets of other places - but her journey of return is just beginning.

 

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Artist Credits

Collette Bortolin

Kyoko Yamaji

 

 

 

 

 

 

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