The foam flecks splashed against the rock wall. Sheer and massive, the cliff face had stood since the beginning of time. Chained to it was an old beast. Its slobbering jaws threw the spittle in arcs, through the crisp mountain air, and onto the granite. Fury flamed in the monster’s eyes, and and its claws raked against the chain again and again and again.
The monster’s name was Evil and the magical rings that held him bound were especially tight and strong this year. Some years, the links weakened, giving the monster just enough reach that his breath, mouldering for millions of years, could cover the land below. On those years, Evil touched the world in many forms.
This year, however, the metal was strong and tight, and his breath could not reach those below. Who had strong enough magic to bind such a monster for years? A hero, clad in armor, strong of heart and fearless? No. No, indeed.
It was the women. The women of each household, who after slaving all day, cooking, washing, raising children, and maintaining their homes, sat with each other at a long wooden table and in the flickering candlelight created beauty.
Beauty from simple things… an egg, fragrant beeswax, some purple onion skins, and rough nutshells… The beauty spoke of blessed things… long life, fertility, strength, rebirth. It was enhanced doubly because what the women crafted in the firelight was not for themselves, they were Gifts. They were made from the Heart. A gift of Simple Wishes. But even more, they were Gifts of Time.
For long after the women should have been sound asleep in their simple beds of rope and straw, they labored. What greater gift is there, than the gift of Time? It is the gift that speaks of sacrifice, (I could be in bed…), that reeks of selflessness, (for who knows how long each of us has on Earth, but I am willing to give you part of my Time here…), and Love.
The women who made these delicate objects of beauty, decorative eggs created with wax and dye, who gave of themselves, their Time, their Love… they were the ones that held Evil at bay. The more pysanky they made, the stronger the chain. Should they forget, or become selfish, or greedy, Evil’s chain rots and becomes weak.
It is our job, our duty, to rise above ourselves, and give of our Time. To create the pysanky is to Save the World From Evil.
Join me, won’t you?