On a balmy, wet winter solstice necessitating raingear and waterproof clodhopping boots, Maize God prepares himself for a journey into the wilderness seeking his allies, the forest spirits.
Fox meets him at the standing stone; in memory of the ancestors, she offers wintergreen. Maize God has brought citrus.
They seek out Owl in the crooked tree by the marsh. “And what exactly do you expect this to accomplish?” she asks.
“We know it’s the humans who are really the problem. Nothing we do here is going to make a lick of difference until they quit mucking everything up. But Owl, we must still come together and mark the time like we always do.”
“Change is in the air, in the soil and the water, but isn’t it always? So let’s feast tonight and sing! How else can we be ready for the dawn when it comes?”
At the sacred place under the ring of pines, Maize God prepares the offering fire. The three sit in contemplation, awaiting the appointed hour.