(Image – statue of Midir and Etain by Éamon O’Doherty at Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre)
(Story written for Midir and Etain Anthology, digital copy available here: https://www.creativeardaghcraftshop.com/shop/p/midirandetaindigital?rq=midir%20and%20Etain%20anthology%20)
Here and now and there and then, there lived a man who never lived, under the mountain that is just a hill but a mountain none the less to those who have none.
This man was and is and will be, a magical man, a mystical creature of fabulous beauty with flashing bright eyes that transform from deep dark pools of murky brown to clear shining lakes of crystal blue.
He was and is and will be, of magnificent stature, not quite a man and not quite a God. He stands tall amongst mortals, small amongst Deities, yet holds his own with them all.
His hair is a mane of glossy gold silk, his skin glows brightly with light from within. A fine man, was, is and will be he or so he thought and thinks and will think. And perhaps so do we.
When he loved and was loved, this God of a man and man of a God, life was young, new, strange and unknown. The rules that we know were not written, nor spoken and nothing surprised, yet everything did. He ruled over many with a kind heart, cared for his people as father to child.
He loved and was loved and was married in bliss, then he spied a young beauty that send him adrift.
What a vision she was this young girl that he spied. She had long golden hair and snow white skin, ruby lips and green emerald eyes. Her limbs were those of a dancer.
Long and elegant she flowed as she moved o’er the hills and down to the stream where she washed her glistening threads of gold with porcelain hands.
What more could you want?
She sang as she washed, an enchanting tune, not seeing this man nor noticing how he was falling for her. As she sang her light shone and he drifted towards her as a moth in the night to a flame that will burn.
When he came to her side she was startled and shy but his beauty is hard to resist. He stared in her eyes and in no time at all she agreed to be wed to a man she just met!
They came back to his palace upon his white horse. His wife was not pleased but what could she do, this was time with no rules of her man who just ruled. Her husband was powerful, much loved by all. She could do nothing a while, only stall, but she soon had enough and jealousy struck.She transformed the young sprite to a puddle of muck.
The girl changed yet again in front of her eyes and became a beautiful butterfly. She fluttered around for a time……. Quite a while.
She was reborn again as a mortal child and grew, happy and unaware of her past. He found her but lost her again and again and many were lost because of his deeds. An interesting road appeared in a bog leading nowhere and everywhere, all just for love. Our times came fast and his kind hid below, under the mountain, or hill, what you will. Perhaps we smell.
That’s a short version of a tale, of love and romance with foolishness playing its part. A story with twists and turns and intrigue, many of which I have left for you to explore, be inspired and create many more. Google Midir, Étain, Celtic love, Brí Leith, Sidhe. It is there as everything is and each version changes much like the wind.
And they all lived happily ever after……..