Tender-hearted, and with some trepidation, I walked alone beneath the moonlight through ponderosa forest as I made my way back to my solitary camp on a desert plateau. With a piercing longing in my heart, I had gone out to ask questions of the Beloved Night.
“What, oh Wild Darkness, do you want from me? I’m tired of always walking alone—so tired I fear I cannot take one more step. And with no human to walk with hand in hand, I have come to you, oh Lover Night, oh Charming Moon, oh Precious Earth. What would you like of me?”
The Night spoke back in a voice full of delight, “ You know…what really turns me on, sweet woman, is you, dressed in a hooded black cloak, singing to me through the forests and the hills”.
Blushing, I said, “Well, alright,” and put on my black cloak, woven by the grandmothers of my dreams. I pulled the hood over my long, red hair, and began to sing. Long had I struggled to uncover the full range of my voice—to hit all the high notes I wished to express. But as I walked, my voice began to rise, and what came through me was a medicine voice—ancient and streaming like a silver river flowing beneath the moonlight.
My voice became so powerful I could swear there were many voices singing. But when I’d stop, I could hear nothing but the crickets, the sound of the wind through the trees, and the distant owl call. Again I would sing, and again I would stop. Baffled, I sang on.
I wound my way through the forest, no longer feeling any fear. As if the whole forest knew me and beckoned me to carry on. I soon realized that the voices on top of my song were the sounds of my own voice, echoing back at me from the trees. With this insight the Night, laughing and weeping all at once, spoke to me again. “You see dear woman, we the Forest and the Night, have been longing for your song for ages. A woman’s voice has great power and its vibrations are greatly needed now. For centuries the Earth has been bereft of this great gift—a woman’s voice being silenced so. We creatures of the Earth can not be fully ourselves without it. Your voice is a part of us.
And now our lives are being threatened by machines and all the rest. Our vast networks are being severed underground; the web of life unraveling.
You give your voice and you bring us hope and the whole forest sings!”
Swept up in the words of the Night, my heart began to swell. “Oh Lover Night, Oh Charming Moon, Oh Precious Earth, I love you so! What MORE can I do for you?”
The Night, now dripping with Love, in a voice of passion spoke, “Be my lover forevermore, never hide your voice again—put all your love behind your song and offer it without end.”
So night after night I walked the forest and the hills, cloaked in black. I filled my heart with love and sang it to the Lover Night, the Charming Moon, the Precious Earth. Each night I was protected. Each night I was embraced with love. And soon even the ears of humans began to hear my song, carrying through the trees at night—filling them too with enchantment for which they long. My sisters wished to join me in this wild and loving song.
The Night spoke to me again in a voice filled with immeasurable love— “Oh please, I beg you sweet lover of mine, gather all of the women, and tell them of your soul’s song. Then bring them here, into the night. For THIS I truly long!”
“Oh Lover Night, oh Charming Moon, oh Precious Earth—I finally know my place. I no longer weep from loneliness. For you I would give it all.”
I ran out into the world and gathered a million strong. We traveled to the forests, hills, and waters and sang our medicine songs. The Night began to shutter. The roots began to grow. All the rivers started running clear and the women began to know all the powers in their voice that had been forgotten so long ago.
The women fell for Lover Night, pledged their lives to the Earth and Moon. And I have never felt alone since. While something magical grows in my womb.
ERICA RHINEHART is a poet, blood witch, and nature-based guide to soul and Guide with Animas Valley Institute. Her primary practice is working with the ancestors to heal multigenerational trauma and to bring forth buried ancestral memory for the sake of planetary transformation. She spends her free time exploring the world-making power of the written, spoken, and lyrical word through writing and singing.
Image: river valley, Colorado, by Erica Rhinehart
Thank you Erica Rhinehart for your offering for Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus 2020. Erica is also a contact for Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus in Colorado, USA.