“The joy is in the after, never in the before;

Before the deed lies nothing, in the after She is forever more.

The days, they come; the days, they go;

Beyond the silent sleep, a new life a-sew.

Every new replaces the old, every old the shadow of the new;

The golden bull in the thicket, the goat upon the range;

Fire and torch, She is the bright,

She is our Nature, She is our Light,

Until the days are few.”

Sakrisan V, Temple Hymns of Birth

Yes, it is a little fragrant, perhaps. But She must be heard in the ears of the young. For songs such as this are sung for every new life She has gifted us. For She is rebirth and perfect in every way.

My family? My family is you. And everyone else, of course. My family exists beyond the Plateau, to the stars. To every life that has and will ever be. We are all part of She after all. Let me tell you a tale, one of my own. The prose is pitiful and unbecoming. I hope you can forgive me.

It is called The Garden of En-zu:

“The Garden of En-zu was wondrous. From every tree to every flower, bloom and delight awaited all those who cast their eyes upon its splendour.

The tallest trees sang to the birds, guiding them home. The flowers ripe with nectar made the insects and animals drink to stupefaction. There was contentment and beauty in the Garden.

En-zu, so fitful at granting plants fecundity; was childless. With none to maintain her Garden she sang for She; for three days and three nights, she sang for her own shoots. She wept for three days, to She tears did flow. She answered her. For She hears all and is perfect in every way.

Not one child did En-zu have, but twelve. So many children did play and grow within her Garden. It brought great joy to En-zu, she sang every day to Her. The children did grow, mighty trunks and slender boughs. En-zu taught them the wonder of gardening; to watch She create new life from the old.

But the children did not listen; they did not learn the majesty of leaves or the strength of oak. They became jealous of one another. For only one could inherit the Garden. Jealousy begat hate and hate begat murder. Only one child remained, the victorious Holly. For She had granted her poison berries and spiked leaves.

En-zu grieved for the loss of her children. She cast Holly from the Garden, never to provide nourishment for the birds and creatures. En-zu lived alone unto the end of her days, cursed by the glory of her Garden.

(Sakrisan IX)

We punish Holly for her jealousy by cutting a sprig every cold spell. It reminds us to not rage against the dying beauty of the sun, because it will arise fresh once more. Only through understanding glory can one know Her ways.

I, myself, have no children She made for me. That is no harm. I have En-zu to thank for granting me a vision of Her wisdom.

To Chapter Eleven – Pero