Mother Solstice's Tale
(a western version of a Mummer's Play)

© 1997 Merri Rudd, All Rights Reserved
(Staging: dark, six dancers light candles and join procession behind Mother Solstice who mounts platform to deliver speech. Dancers gather on the floor at Mother's feet, lighting her face with candlelight.)

Gather round, children, while ye may,
Old time is fast a-flyin'
Mother Solstice has much to say
'Ere winter's light is dying.
* * *
Shadows lurk atop the moon
Sandias settle without mirth
Snuggle under thick white gloom
Rooted in the frozen earth.
Bears snoring
Buds iced
Smog growing
Twigs spliced.
Endless dark
Coldest air
No hope, for many,
For some, Despair.
* * *
Mother Nature inhospitable.
We find ways to be more wittable.
Endure w/cheer long talks and teaching
Welcome newcomers without preaching.
From the caller come our paces.
Dances light our hearts and faces.
Festivities mask the bleakest dark
Luminarias lend a little spark
Hot cocoa steams along the way
Biscochitos keep doom at bay.
Insulated from chill and night.
Can we from the dark take flight?
* * *
All fall the days have shorter grown
Tonight the shortest of them yet
But ere yon 'fragile moon has flown
Extra glints of light we get.
* * *
" Oh, dark dark dark. [We] all go into the dark...
I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God...
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light,
and the stillness the dancing." (T.S. Eliot, East Coker III)
* * *
" Clear well spring not
sweet birds sing not
green plants bring not
forth their dye.
Herds stand weeping,
Flocks all sleeping
Nymphs back peeping
All my merry jigs are quite forgot."
All hath winter's fury wrought.
* * *
Perhaps upon further reflection
We gain perspective and direction.
We remember fine music and dance,
the saving graces of us all.
Our voices one, our feet do prance,
As faithfully we fill the hall.
The trees still
The garden chill
Our hearts fill
" there is always music
amongst the trees in the garden,
but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it." (Distant music)
* * *
What ho? (Back lights turn on)
In yon distance blooms?
A brave crocus
Thru the ice looms. (the fool blooms)
Oblivious to frost and snow,
Aglow with hope
So too we all now go.
Arise ye all, a solstice farewell,
New light to welcome, and new tales to tell.

Please contact Merri Rudd.

revised 6/30/05
Copyright © 2005 by Merri Rudd