“Dawn in the Hills,” Robert Julian Onderdonk, 1922, WikiArt.

Cold April moonlight crept across cottage
Bedroom walls, tomb I imagined, single
Small window for outward-peering dead,
Awaiting resurrection, trumpet’s call,
Divine light. Thus, I, Willow, was taught,
Religious beliefs on outer Hebridean Isles.
This night I slept, anticipating Papa’s pre-
Dawn call. “We are strengthened by our
Faith and rituals,” Papa said after evening
Prayers, both ancient and modern-day.

Hard knock on bedroom door, porridge
Bowl hand pressed, lanterns lit, winding
Paths, procession made, greeting dozen
Others on hilltop summit, several standing
Stones, first glimmering light on cloud-
Swept horizon. “We are not first islanders
Celebrating spring equinox, growing
Seasons, or celebrating resurrection of
Christ on this mount,” parson stated,
Blowing breeze, earth’s eternal breath.

Robe of dark-grey clouds, sun struggled
Reaching land’s end of Scottish seashores,
Redeeming blood ran cold-deeper amongst
Weathered stones, hillside meadows, womb
Of island earth, ancestral ancient beliefs,
God and nature worshiped as one, life
Triumphant over death. “Are ancient beliefs
Much different than now?” I asked Papa,
Question breeze-traveling to all ears. “Are
We trespassing upon another’s holy site?”

“Place of stones belongs to no one,” parson
Replied, irritated. “And to everyone,” Papa
Added on my behalf. Shroud of mist fallen,
Sun ocean-beaming, “He is risen,” all stated,
Dawn broke in golden light, prayers and
Embraces made in Christ’s name. Cottage
Returned, Papa asked, ”Willow, what was that
About?” “Something night-happened, moon-
Light in my room. I felt kindred with earth
Spirits, ancient celebrations, spring’s rebirth.”

Easter poem of island life, ancient and Christian traditions.
Thanks for reading.  

Social profiles