||[Nov. 23rd, 2004|03:00 pm]
A while back, I decided on a custom for the longest night of the year. I would stand watch, I decided. A friend teased me in e-mail about it, about making sure the sun returns. I'm betting she remembers a joke I'd love to write into a story... a time traveller ends up in a 'primative' tribe's solstice celebration, and 'wisely' nods and says "yes, to bring back the sun!" The tribe all laugh at him. "No, no, no, the sun controls the sun! We have a big party because it's the longest night of the year, and we're celebrating the return of the light. What kind of backwards tribe did you come from where you don't know that?"|
But I decided to write up why I choose to stand watch through the night.
Old and tired, with the lines of a thousand cares and worries etched in his face, the god leans heavily upon his staff. His time is at an end, and he knows it, and yearns for peace.
And then he hears a sound, and turns. Before him now, are the enemies of mankind, in all their horrendous glory. He has fought a dozen, no, a hundred, battles against them in his short span of life, but now his battling days are over.
A single tear falls from his eyes, one of despair... or perhaps of gratitude?
His back straightens, his voice deepens, and his staff is no longer an old man's walking stick, but the weapon of war that it was in his youth.
The goddess bears his child, who will carry on his battle when his child's time comes. But for now...
Now he turns, facing his enemies, and throws back his head and howls, and his voice chills all who hear it to the bone, and more deeply. And then he speaks, in a warrior's voice.
"The battle is eternal, though my part is at an end. But with my last breath, with my last strength, I shall stand, and fight."
And his final battle is joined.
And though he fights bravely and well, the battle is eternal, and all too soon, his part in it is at an end.
But his child still grows, and will take up the battle soon after his birth.
I will stand watch with him, that first night, and offer my strength, my wisdom, and my love, for the protection of us all. Woe to the enemy who thinks the new god weak, for though he is young, he is still the god, and all good men lend him their strengths whenever those strengths are needed.