There was an age of fire. It became so hot that it burned the first mother, even as she shielded her young from the inferno.
To quench that age, there was water, and eventually it drowned fire mother’s lungs as she tried to hide her babies from the torrent.
The world froze after that, and water mother surrounded her children, giving what warmth she could, but the ice took them into stillness forever.
Then too, came an age of such pressure that it pressed out even the ice, turning everything to stone. Ice mother could not protect her little ones, they were squeezed even from her womb.
Finally, there was the age we know now.
Stone mother was different, and so were her children. She was fire when she was struck, and they were warmth that came from her. She was water when she was broken, and they streamed out of her as steam and ice also. She was sand when she was crushed, and they were earth that spread out from the sand. Her children were everything. Her wings wound around the world, and there was nowhere that was not a nest for her young.
There is one part that is not yet explained. How, if the children were lost in each age, were there any more mothers? There has been a mother of many mothers. She has looked backwards into each age and dug through the fire, water, ice, and stone, clawing out each of her mothers with her nails. Each one, you see, is really the same mother. Some call her Crow. Some the Madonna. She is the one who gives everything for her offspring. The mystery is that her own offspring is also her creator.
For Meinrad Craighead