There are times, at night, when the wilderness seems cold.
Times when the dark feels stronger than my Beloved.
There is no moon now, and this valley is quiet and cold.
Oh, so very cold that I think I can feel my iced marrow creaking when I breathe. These are the times when it is hardest of all to let joy in.
She does not want to be possessed tonight.
I remember that moment--so long ago--that rip of black tulle, that wild burst of wind that carried it far up and away.
I remember that knowing time, I remember the battle in which my dragon was slain.
I remember the screams, I remember the blood on the sand, the rocks in my hands. Above all, I remember that voice.
So irresistible, so warm, like the soft touch of a lover to the waist of his wife. "Trust me," it said.
So still, so quiet, and yet that small whisper resonated through this desert valley disrupting the play of merciless dust devils, leaping from hillside to hillside, twirling in the skirted breeze of a far-off coast.
But the green is gone again--its absence makes me think that winter has come.
The voice never promised that winter would stay away.
But I had hoped.
Now I sit in the dark and it is my lot to remember and believe.
And watch for the morning.