Something new was happening in the land of light. Suddenly, the world began to grow dark. The birds knew, but people had to learn, this is where you pause what you are doing; this is how you put down mats; this is when you lie down.
Be still, said one who knew.
And do what? Someone asked.
Sleep. But they didn’t know the word, not yet. So, the one who knew said, just wait, and people waited. Eventually, they knew sleep.
Then came a new light, but softer, and the birds sang to meet it. The sleepers opened their eyes and finally, after all this time, they were waking to meet the first day.
Inspired by “Finding Night,” Virginia Hamilton’s retelling of the story of Quat, the solar god of the Banks Islands, north of the New Hebrides in Melanesia. From In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World.