In the beginning of time when humans were a rare find, was a water goddess named Sahra. One day, she was walking along a pond. At this point in time, this pond didn’t have a name. It was just there.
She gazes up at the clear blue sky and trails her left hand along the long grass. Once she comes up to the bullrushes she hears something. She follows the sound until she sees a handsome, mysterious man sitting under a pear tree. He is singing a romantic tale in a sweet, melodious voice:
“She walks along the reeds at night,
Her eyes twinkle with the stars so bright,
The sound of her voice lifts the rain
Oh, how I wish to see her smile again.”
When he realized he had an audience, the man turns and looks at Sahra. She was completely captivated to a point where she just stared at him. He looks so different from her. She has long blonde hair to her knees with blue eyes to match the waters of the world, while he has glorious shoulder length hair as dark as night, and soft green eyes like the grass on her feet. His arms long and strong with hands that are clearly tender to the touch.
“Please don’t stop.” She says wistfully, “I’ve never heard something so beautiful.”
“I am honored you find it so.” He replies to her. “My name is Marco. Would you care to sit with me?”
With a nod, she sits beside him underneath the pear tree. Everything seems so simple. He sings to her and she tells him tales of her own. Before either one of them know it, they have fallen in love. Hours turn into days; days turn into months and the two of them would meet under the pear tree in front of that pond.
One day, Sarha waits for Marco to show up at the same time and place that they always do. She has something important to tell him. It is a magical gift that they created underneath this pear tree. A child is growing inside her. She is sitting there just aching to tell him this. There is a problem. He’s late. It is so unlike Marco to not be there. However, Sahra is willing to wait.
Hours pass and he still isn’t there. Sahra is so confused, this is so unlike Marco. He always comes here to meet her. Clearly, he is missing and she has to find him. Luckily, she knows just the being to help her with her search. The god of riddles, communication, and divination; Sajeoch. Sarha makes haste to the cave that is near the canals where he lives.
Inside his cave, Sajeoch mutters to himself as he stands over his cauldron throwing in various herbs and spices into the mixture he has. His long wild red hair has a bird skull on top of it all. He is short, stout, and has dark eyes that could hypnotize anyone who dares to look in them. Other than a bone necklace surrounding his neck, he only wears a long green cover that goes all the way to the floor. As he inhales the smell around him, he opens his eyes and notices that he has a visitor before she even walks through the door.
“Hello sister.” He says the second that Sahra stands in the doorway. “Did you bring me a present?”
“Fresh bread from the hearth and home.” She replies and sets the wrapped bread on his countertop.
“Your gift is acceptable.” He speaks. “What can I do for you?”
“My lover Marco! What’s happened to him?” She asks fearful of what the answer is.
Sajeoch grabs a handful of his special powder and walks over to a small stone fireplace. He throws the powder into the fire and watches the colors change from blue to green, to red, and back to orange. A hum mumbles out of his lips as he closes his eyes and waves his arms in the air as if he is beckoning something towards him. Sahra walks towards him as he continues his rituals.
Suddenly, he opens his eyes and states in a voice that is different from his own.
“The love of mortal and goddess, can not be
For one always stands while the other is set free
Their spirits change but ours remains here
For he is dead and no longer near.”
Hearing this news devastates Sahra. She runs out of the god’s cavern and heads towards the pond at lightning speed. She collapses to her knees as soon as she reaches the pear tree. The tears from her eyes ran freely but the first tear that hits the pond begins to freeze. Soon all of her tears fall in the pond and without even paying attention to it, Sahra freezes the pond.
After allowing all her tears out, Sarha lays against the tree, feeling some comfort come from it. The branches somehow seem lower and wrap around her as if to embrace her. A fruit from the tree drops into her hands. It is like this tree is watching over her and taking care of her. Her red sorrowful eyes look up it and she gives it a little smile. Right then and there she promises that every year around that time, the pond shall freeze due to the loss of her love but the pear tree will never feel a touch of frost.
This is an ancient myth that has been around the prairies for thousands of years. It is open to interpretation but it definitely shows the strength of one’s love for another.
A Special Thanks to:
The Airdrie Canals: For their beauty and a nice long walk: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/canada/alberta/airdrie-canals-loop