The Blackbird at the Gate

The Blackbird came at the start of the year. He comes at the beginning of things, bearing the Rowan branch that lights the way. The Rowan branch, the flaming brand carried into the Land of the Ancestors, into the Other Realm, that I wear on my wrist and always have in my hand. Here was the Blackbird again, reminding me of my inheritance.

The Blackbird has come before, when the night sky filled with constellations turns to dawn. I am hesitant to look up at them this time, because I know that She watches me from her Pole Star tower, and if I make eye contact, I might agree to something. I have called out to no gods, but they hear me nonetheless and wait for me to hear them.

I do not want to.

All I want to do is write apologies and agonies over being too much and not enough, over not knowing where I am supposed to be. This is all hand-waved away by coreligionists and the gods themselves; I feel their presence and I am afraid of it. My Ancestors‘ patience approaches thinness as I waffle on what I should be doing, and my oath’s reminder to serve the folk presses on my mind.

How can I serve the folk if I am called to solitude? Am I truly called to solitude or have I been pushed into irrelevance by motherhood and by a global pandemic? Any words I try to share melt into nothing when they leave my body, failing in substance. I am floundering in a place I once intimately knew.

And yet, I do not doubt. Everything is as it was. There are places I can seamlessly enter, reside in, find again. Time is relative, after all, and time matters little when our relationships are grounded in strength and love.

Perhaps I will follow the Blackbird again, and listen to his song as night turns to day. He has not led me astray before.

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