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Grey Heron Nights 8: Hatching the egg

For the origins of Grey Heron Nights, please visit this page.

Old Crane Woman is hatching her egg.

She’s not doing it alone; none of us can do it alone. Old Crane Woman has help from her sisters. She walks alone, Old Crane Woman; for much of the year she walks alone. She walks alone by the river, gathering her scraps, muttering her stories, screaming her pain into the wind. She feeds alone, Old Crane Woman, while others huddle together in the warmth of the village. She feeds alone. But Old Crane Woman knows that none of us can do it alone.

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Old Crane Woman gathers her sisters at times of need. Sometimes, she gathers them just for fun. Sometimes she dances alone — but out of the clean, bright joy of her solitude Old Crane Woman reaches for the gift of her sisters.

Old Crane Woman’s sisters will help her hatch her egg. Do you see them there, where they’ve gathered around the nest? Do you hear them, heads turned to the sky, singing over the egg at this still point of the turning world? Do you feel it, the still point of this turning world? Do you feel it? Old Crane Woman feels it; she’s hatching her egg. Do you feel the life stirring in the egg? The Crane Women feel it, and they’re singing it into being. They’re singing the song of what is to come.

Out of the still point of the turning world, Old Crane Woman closes her eyes and dreams of the dance to come.

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

From ‘Burnt Norton’, T.S. Eliot