The willows are swaying and chanting a song in the mother-tongue--whisper--lean into them, let them gently tap you, remind you--healing begins at the place of the wound. We are the mothers of too-early awakenings--see! morning has already touched our soft silver tips. Listen, listen, daughter. The roar of the wind is kinder than your thoughts.
You who have been seeking since you emerged from the dark and detected the vast distance between self and Other--the first heart-break--come to us for comfort. We follow water, humbler than poplar, ever-sure and undeterred, unswerving. We are waiting for you here in the half-dark; Our Lady hovers above this thicket on the edge of the crescent moon.
Tenderest saplings know of your troubles; they read from your hands you why you gave up your voice. We have counted the hours you lay prostrate in prayer, in despair over your own frozen heart, before the Mother. Too many times have you been shattered, buried your anger, sunk beyond seeing.
So many years, you dreamt of dreaming: not yours, never yours, beloved and untouched. Never together and yet ever yearning. A voiceless seeking for a name, a question, a talisman--Sasha, Sashka. Alexander Nevsky, riding across the ice. And a ravenous hunger, trapped within silence, for words.
You thought you had traded in your voice for a cage, but look behind you, behold--it is safe here--we recognize the fearsome dragon-self in your shadow. It is you--but she burns you, sears you daily, though you do not know it. Time has made her into a torch--let her step away from the calendar and remain with the willows. She will wait here in silence until you have need of her.
Winter and ice are confused this year-- first thawing, melting, then freezing, and glaciating, but the kindness of the dark remains steady in us. Open your throat; make ready for the return of your voice, be unafraid of words. Our Lady is watching. Sense the strength of your roots, dear, let your cares go, be a wandering tree--but--watch your step along the path.