But it has become more pronounced now. It has gone from an odd feeling to a palpable presence. Everywhere, the head is bent in acquiescence. The mighty gives way, and all knees bend—willingly or no, it does not matter; the end is the same and the knee shall be bent. And the sun, too. It travels in a strange and low arc in the sky now, chasing after the ripples in the ether from a butterfly’s wings. Somewhere the fruition of those waves will be found, but not here and not now.
|The fight is finished.|
Here is the time when the end is met. There are no graceful gowns of stunning color anymore, no delightful dances, no heady fragrances. There are no more fine silks to hide the Underworld. The melody, if any, is a soft and sorrowful crooning. (And at night the wailing of the banshees can be heard, but we are not ready to speak of them yet. Soon.) The blackened heads of dead flowers, heavy with secret seeds, sway now in the constant wind. The grains of the long grasses, once milky and sweet, now rattle against one another and then fly away into the mist.
Yet it is accepted. The fight is finished, and there will be no more rallying cries against the night in this season. There is no bargaining either, and the full price is paid. All along, each being knew the price and that it must be paid in full, down to the last penny. Each agreed. How easy it is to make a promise when the sun is shining. When the time comes, though, each of us gives our gold back to the Great Alchemist. It was never ours to keep.
Ignoring the banshees for now, then, and the ever-present drumbeat from the dark forest, the word in the wind is “surrender.” And everywhere, the surrender is complete, like clockwork. The sigh is great, the head bent, the shoulders slumped. It is time to give in and let go, time to stop the pulling and grasping and tearing. The battle is lost. The end is graceful for now on the threshold, and that is still good and noble. But when the darkness finally descends, all bets are off. The King is dead. Long live the King.