Fox knew that it would take more than just Fox to heal this hurt, but Fox could begin. And so, Fox began to tell stories about the wonders of darkness. And Fox sang songs about the gifts of darkness. And Fox danced dances of delight for the darkness. But Fox paws were not designed for a brush or needle or for cutting glass. Still, it was a beginning, and darkness felt a bit better.
We, of course, knew nothing of this at the time. We just knew that all of a sudden, one day at noon, the brightest time of day, suddenly, the light got even brighter. A brightness that filled every corner. A brightness that stayed long after darkness should have fallen for the night. A day that went on and on and on.
We had done it! We had conquered darkness. Or so we thought in our ignorance and our arrogance. And we celebrated. To think of it now! But we did. We celebrated our triumph. We sang our songs and we danced our dances, and we had a feast that went on for days.
And then, we began to get sick. At first we thought it was all the extra food, but no, this sickness persisted, and grew worse. We were sapped of all energy. It was as if the light were burning all the energy out of us. After a week, we could barely move. And yet, for all that, we could not sleep. We simply lay, unable to do much of anything at all, but with no real way of finding restoration. The land began to suffer too, we could see that. We could see the trees wilting, and the grain in the fields. We could see the animals’ energy drain away, too, just like ours.
We became frightened then. And then, slowly, came the realization. We had been wrong! Darkness, too, was precious. We could not live without it. And now it was gone. We still thought it was our own weapons which had killed the darkness. We had fought it, and we had won, and it was ourselves we had destroyed in the process. Having killed what we thought was our worst enemy, we discovered that we had destroyed, in fact, a most vital friend.
We wept then, filled with remorse and sadness and shame.
And then, after 12 days of blazing, unrelenting light, all of a sudden, the darkness returned! Fox had released the darkness, hoping that by then we would have learned better, and seeing that darkness was beginning to heal.
The darkness returned, pure grace! A second chance that even the most stubborn among us knew was a gift beyond any we had ever received. We wept with joy and relief. We welcomed the darkness back with fervent love, as the agent of healing that it had always been but which we had never seen.
We recovered, slowly. And we began to write new songs and create new dances, honoring the darkness. We created images of darkness in paint and glass and cloth, and we put them in our most sacred spaces. We told stories of its beauty and its gifts. We loved it. And as we loved it, the darkness healed. The balance returned.
We still love the light. It has a beauty of its own. Though light without darkness is lethal, we know that we cannot survive without the light. But we love the darkness, too. Love it with all the awe our hearts can hold.
And Fox, well, Fox returned to trickster ways. Fox is still Fox, but there has been a change. Is it to remind us? Or as a gift of thanks from the darkness? Or just the natural result of carrying it away? We don’t know. But with the senses that we are learning to use more carefully to perceive the truth of the world around us, we can see that Fox’s paws are black now. Fox carries this story everywhere in Fox paws.