The child, its voice a-quaver,
cried softly to its mother,
“Oh, mother, mother dear,
I am filled with so much fear.”
And the mother, ever concerned,
gently and lovingly responded,
“What is it, my beloved child,
that has made you so afraid?”
“Mother, do you not notice
that the darkness, yes, the darkness
has grown so much darker
and seems like it will get darker still?”
“Ah, is that what bothers you?
Yes, my child, I see that too.
But, may I ask you, I’d like to know
why that frightens you so.”
“In the darkness, mother, I can sense
the presence of beasts and malevolent spirits,
and I hear widows and orphans sobbing and wailing in grief
and a deafening, frightening frightened silence.”
“Indeed, indeed, what you say is true, child,
and, yes, indeed we should be afraid
of the beasts and malevolent spirits that in darkness thrive;
of the growing darkness we should be really afraid.”
“Shall we then just cower in fright
as this darkness swallows all the light?
Shall we be bowed, tearful maybe, and silent
at the onslaught of the beasts and spirits malevolent?”
“No, child, no,” the mother quickly replies.
“We are afraid of the creeping, deepening darkness
because it devours the light we lovingly embrace
with its warm and nourishing caress.”
“And so,” she goes on, “we keep the light in our heart
burning bright and giving out warmth.
With the light in our heart we will push back
and refuse to be overwhelmed by the dark.”