As the March night slipped into a sleepy silence, a stillness was borne unto an awakening land – a land still groggy yet reaching for warmth from the depths of slumber, stretching and rising like a Phoenix coaxed from the ashes of a winter’s hearth gone cold. A hushed wind whispered warnings through the timberland, whipping up a murmur that stirred amongst the trees; it slid and caught on encrusted snow, tempting the crows to mock again as they did the night before in the full moon’s wash when they watched from their perches high above. But they kept still and all else settled, as a fear took hold and silence fell, so as not to tempt the fates of the Morrighan.
As the hour grew late, nature’s children released a collective breath which held thick upon the cool night air. A final frosty coating tipped the branches. Timbered souls huddled together, readied and bare, wanting for spring’s sweet caress. The night shivered in anticipation of her arrival then shuddered to calmness as if already a lover fulfilled. The forest silence pleaded for a peaceful night.
“No noise, my love, sleep as the hour draws near and, by and by, you shall awake to a new day.”
Until that time, downy cover lay gentle over a fragile land and gave security with false hope. But no sound sleep would befall the earth that night – virgins entwined amongst their unsuspecting beds would be dragged, kicking and screaming into the night, bedclothes melting away as the grasp of Eros claimed their desires. The death of winter was sure.
From the snowy ashes she arose, her lithe body distorted and writhing as she gasped and gulped, in frantic desperation, to regain life’s green pulse. An unearthly scream rent the midnight hour and all cringed and thought the curses were to be upon them. Instead, the noise began to sooth like warm breath on an icy pain. Steam rose as tempered air touched flesh and pallid hide and she pulled wildly on the tangled mane of her mount – straining, pulling – demanding the ground unearth them to grant vernal freedom once more. Entwined as one, horse and master regained completed form – Epona had arrived and all celebrated.
No guilty pleasure to be left unturned, she traced a pattern freely over land, threading through the naked forest, with soft sureness, enticing new buds to pop with just a look. Her touch was fiery and when placed just so it brought crimson blush to barren soil, deflowered and flowered, all in one stroke. Pounding hooves awoke the hibernating beasts who stirred with frustrated realizations. Creeks welcomed her intrusion to their beds and they pooled their heated fluids. Wild and turbulent in her wake, they thawed away their inhibiting icy shackles.
Spring lay anew upon the earth, splayed and spent, yet rejuvenated and Epona, body drenched in sweat, smiled with satisfaction at her newest conquest. She smoothed her flaxen hair and thread throughout the tresses new sprung daisies. She caressed the neck of her dutiful destrier, glistening with early morning dew. As quick and quiet as she came to the night, her job done, she faded into the dawn, just as the sun peeked over the horizon.