Four months ago, this area was covered in snow and ice. It was cold and desolate, and everything was dead. There was not one green leaf to be found, not one flower petal. Only a hollow and lonely-sounding wind roamed the area, screeching and pulling at skin and eyes. It was a desolate time. Four months ago, this was the Land of the Dead, and everything reeked of bereft emptiness and sorrow.
But now, just four months later, the landscape has been miraculously transformed. Today, on this Summer Solstice, the Earth bursts at the seams with massive greenery and flowers. There are hundreds of birds tweeting, thousands of insects humming, and sunny meadows brimming with colors as far as the eye can see. Four months later, this is the Land of the Living, and eternal promise is its song.
|Once covered in ice and snow and death.|
Can four months make such a difference? Apparently so. Four months ago, a secret deal was struck between the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead. Four months ago, they met in secret beneath the very spot at which I stood to take this photo, and they planned this brilliant day. Agreements were made and steep prices were paid. In hidden caches beneath the frozen ground, tiny shards of life waited in a state of suspended animation, the Earth having sown her seeds earlier at the Festival of Dying. And there they waited through the long death, in patient expectancy in order to fulfill their part of the bargain.
We may rightly say that they did not disappoint and that they kept their end of the bargain smashingly well. We may say that they went overboard in their expression, in their desire to fulfill their part of the deal We may say that four months ago a dream of bounty and lavish abundance was planned--dearly bought and paid for--the execution of which even the Earth bows to in submission.
And now at the pinnacle, at the height of the season of life, what now? Do we remain motionless in this snapshot of joy and plenty, having experienced the ultimate? Or does the wheel continue to turn?
Beneath my very feet, even now, the forces of life and death are meeting once again, and yet again a deal is being struck at this very moment. In four months’ time, this landscape will be tired and brown, ready to sail into the Festival of Dying. In four months’ time, there will be no buzzing insects and very few birds. The green swelling will be gone, the flowers long since forgotten, and the wind will begin to pick up his lonely cry once again. The scent of decay will be heavy in the air.
Four months from now, a deal struck today will plunge our world headlong into darkness and death as we race toward the annihilation of the daylight with open arms. Even as I write, the forces have clashed and the course has been decided. The outcome is already written in stone. Most of mankind and the animals will continue to blissfully dance, unaware of the dark deal, and rightly so.
Who cares what happens in four months’ time on such a brilliant day? I hide my eyes from the sun so that he will not know that I have eavesdropped on the deal between the darkness and the light. Let him think that I am just another midsummer reveler come to dance with the fairies into the night.
In four months’ time, I will place my seeds in tiny coffins and plant them in the dark Earth. There they will wait through the long death in a state of suspended animation, shards of life striking deals with the dark night.