Sometimes I am disturbed at night by the sound of weeping. I swear that is what I hear; there is no mistaking such inconsolable grief and heartbreak for anything else. The wail ceases as soon as I wake, though, and I can never glimpse its source. The room is empty save for myself and the man sleeping serenely at my side. Tanim never seems to hear the wailing, never stirs at all unless he senses my own restlessness. Yet even when he does ask what has shaken me from sleep I cannot bring myself to answer truthfully. What could I say? That either I’ve gone mad or I am privy to a mourning more ancient than the seasons themselves?
It is the Moon who weeps, I am sure of it. “In the beginning, the Sun and the Moon were in love.” Who first told me this story? I can’t remember; it feels as though I have always known it, yet this cannot be possible. Someone must have sat me down that first time and described how the Moon betrayed the Sun, slew him and spilled his golden blood to unleash winter upon the land. I certainly could never fabricate such an ill-fated tale, not the Moon’s inexplicable treachery nor the overwhelming grief which led him to sacrifice his own life to resurrect his dead lover. There is a rawness to the myth that lends it an unsettling credence and shakes me to my core. Why can’t I remember where I learned of these star-crossed lovers? Why am I the one who wakes to the Moon’s mournful howls?
The summer solstice approaches. If the story is true, soon the Sun will awaken again to reclaim his life temporarily by murdering his traitorous, precious beloved. Come sunrise of that longest day, will I wake to the sound of the Moon’s lamentation like so many mornings before, or will I meet only silence? Or maybe I won’t be woken at all. Maybe it will be Tanim who is startled from sleep by the keening of the Sun as he cradles the dying Moon in his arms. If so, will he choose to reveal to me what disturbs his slumber or will he face this burden alone as I have? I am not sure which to hope for.
[ Daren refers to the solstice myth I created years ago as a framework for the cyclical, doomed nature of Tanim's and Daren's existence. Every solstice I write a piece dedicated to the tale in some way, and those pieces can all be found under the “solstice” category. ]