A Tale from the Records of the North

Photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger
Photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger on Pexels

The Northern Goddess

Of all directions, North is youngest; of all lands was North raised last: pole-clinging, mountain-bracing, glacier-bearing, winter-blasting, storm-wielding, darkness lair. Of all lands was North the best.

In the same North, a region cold and stern, a land stirred stiffly to life at Spring, made frostily bright at Summer, roused to blustery breath through Autumn, cloaked in restless dark at Winter: in this farthest North was such a goddess, and she was alone.

Then there was one of her own who approached her, seeking in her desolate land an answer to her own life, a response to her small soul from the darkness she was drawn to, walking on though fading in her mortal being, til blown thin, she tasted of the freedom her spirit sought, and on that threshold she was answered. Her goddess met her there, where mortal life departs.

Though but a flickering flame in the heart of a fierce land, she had strayed from herself, reckless in her seeking, relentless in her frailty…yet she was found, taken in by one who saw her as she was, one who had ever dwelt in the solitude of the North, who was the very life of it, rejoicing in its very severity. This one took her in, brought her to herself from the brink of the abyss, and gave her life from her own essence that she may stay if she choose it, or wander if her heart would not be quieted. Indeed it would not be, but there was nowhere else, none other who knew her nature, no land that met her so, and so she stayed with her goddess. She is the Lady of the North.

Lady of the North

An unyielding will alive in the lost places, a faint wisp of warmth drifting freely in the frigid regions, faint yet unwavering amidst the wild frenzy of the North, and slight, though never to be quenched, even in great darkness or deep cold. So was this one, who alone had known the goddess of the North, this same one who had sought the one called Winter’s mother.

The borders of that realm were the only bounds of her desire, and the fury of those wilds were the freedom of her own heart, but one day she stood looking Southward and was moved: a wanderer, a chieftainess, a queen among her people was approaching the precipice upon which she stood watch, now nearing the solitary pass through which she herself had once entered, that forbidding gate in the mountain wall, hid between great jagged ridges like arms reaching desperately toward the South.

She descended to see her come, staying hidden in the rugged folds of her beloved’s land, looking from a place where, by yet a fateful drop below her, the way became narrow. It was as she watched her from high above that pass, that the woman looked up, and there also she let herself be seen.

She dared let herself be seen by this one who walked below.

A moment later she withdrew, disappeared at once into the wilds of her Northern realm: it was for but a moment, but it was a moment too long. So she went back to her land’s heart, sullen, vexed, wanting to hide. She had no need of this, yet her own heart had stirred, and she thought herself more reckless in her choice to be seen that day, than in all her mortal daring before it.

Her goddess spoke: “Go to her.”

It would not be the last time. It would take a turning of heart, but the North knew her heart, and she would not have her cage her own nature now, turning from life if it come to her, for, ever before had she sought it without regard to her own, and the North herself loved her for it.

She spoke again: “Go, my heart. Do you deny she has moved you? Go then.”

Published by Caelan Rowan McCuen

Poet and writer of imaginative fiction; lover of ancient wisdom literature and mythology; one most passionate about the vibrant world, and all life, and all beauty...it is all I am.

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