There was a time in worlds long ago, when nights grew dark and hope was faint and fear was everywhere. There was a time when days were cold and animals slept and bare trees were barren of bud and leaf and flower.
At that time the people in all the places were afraid, for they needed the sun to return, bringing warmth to the earth for growing again. They needed hope to be reborn, for in the darkest of nights, hope is hiding and cannot be seen or felt. They needed new life to come, for it seems as if the world was dying around them, and they were afraid. In their fear, they found they needed one another’s company, and so all over the world, people took what they had and made a fire, and everywhere people came from far and wide to sit by the fire and see each other’s faces shining by its light. And then, together, they felt a little less afraid.
After a time, they told stories around the fire – wonderful stories of miraculous happenings, of good-hearted men and women, and wondrous journeys, of the blessings of tiny children, and the goodness of the Gods and Goddesses, of their hopes for the future and their regrets of the past, and the faith that would help them through their darkest night. They told stories, and somehow in the telling, gathered all together, they were even less afraid.
But still it was dark, and cold, and the sun would not come back. And so, the people did what people do, when hope is lowest and fear is strong – they sang and made music together. Around fires and in caves, in homes and hovels and by rivers and streams and under the moon – they sang and played. They sang songs of despair and songs of hope – they raised their voices alone and in pairs and in families and in choirs and in halls and on hillsides. They played and beat time to the singing until every mountain and every valley hummed with the sound, and the birds and the wolves and all the animals who weren’t sleeping joined in, and they all sang to make the light come back.
In the heavens they heard the singing, until even the Gods and Goddesses woke up from sleeping and turned the sun around and sent it back to the people. They heard the singing and they made light appear on the earth and in the fires of the people to give them warmth. They heard the singing and sent babies to be born so the sound of a new baby crying would join the music the people were making. And they sent the spirit of love to live forever among the people, so they would never be cold and afraid again. The people kept singing through the darkest night, they kept singing as the sun returned and the fire glowed and the new baby crowed, and ever since that day, when the nights are long and the barren times come to the world, the people sing and make music together. And it is our singing and playing that brings new life when we need it the most. That is why we sing to this day!