Our names for the days of the week,
are taken from the pages of Teutonic mythology—
from the stories of legend and of pagan gods and goddesses.
Today’s name, Monday, comes to us
from that ancient personification of the moon, Mani,
brother of Sunna—
pale, luminescence on his journey through the night skies.
Accompanied by two children, brother and sister
Hjuki and Bil, children of Vidfinn—
carrying a pole between them, a pail suspended from it
(I’ve heard it said you can see their image—
pole, pail and all, in the craters of the moon).
Some say compassionate Mani
rescued Hjuki and Bil from their cruel father
who forced them each night, all night, to fetch water
from the spring at the top of the hill
(you know the one: Jack and Jill
went up the hill, to fetch a pail of water).
Mani, Hjuki and Bil—all chased through the night skies
by Hati (the Enemy), brother wolf to Sköll,
destined to catch them
on that dread day of Ragnarok.
Mani’s day, today.
Though remember, today,
Mani is of the night.
So consider, even amidst the light of day,
the blessing (perhaps not immediately and personally beneficial)
of the light that shines in darkness—
the light that waxes and wanes
and in its consistency
establishes rhythms expressed in transcendent stories
of life and death and rebirth—
lunar symbolism that lights up the night sky
and brings ever-waxing hope to the day—
of what cannot be seen and is yet real and true—
and reminder for us all—reminder and blessing—
that amidst the so very important cycles and rhythms
that generate the so very important stories and ideas
and sustain the so very important hopes—
Mani will nonetheless
interrupt it all—
for the sake of a child in need.