an autumnal fairy tale from TeutoForest
Many centuries ago the heather and moorland along the hills of Teutoforest had become a home for very poor families. They lived in tiny houses and made their living of spinning and weaving. Even he children were spinning the fibre of flax into the fine, cobweb like threads, from which he finest linen of Europe was woven by those tiny hands.
But there was no way out of poverty for the skillful weavers, as payment was low for the working families, and the big business was made by the traders, selling the fine Westfalian linen, that had been requested all over the continent.
Hunger had been a steady guest in the weavers‘ homes; and each winter the icy winds, that were blowing over the land and through the walls of the small cabins brought chilling cold, fever and death to the inhabitants.
So it happened, that a poor widow lost her beloved daughter, a little girl of five, who died of pneumonia when the storms of autumn rattled at the little houses walls and door.
The poor mother buried the girl and stayed at the little one‘s grave, where she wept herself into sleep, waking up in the chilling cold of the morning.
The woman had died on the freshly made grave, if not friendly neighbours had urged her to go home.
But as everything in her home reminded her of her little daughter, her happy laughter and joyful singing the woman spent most of her time crying over the child’s grave, and nothing could heal her grief.
The setting sun and the rising moon of the evening before All Saints‘ Day found the woman deeply sleeping, exhausted of crying and grief at her daughter. s grave, when a soft, heavenly music, rising and falling tones, forming an enchanting tune, sung by angelic voices, woke her up.
When she opened her eyes to find the source of that enchanting melody, she perceived a beautiful elderly lady, dressed in blue and white, the colours of sky and snow, of flax and linen.
A spindle was stuck into her skillfully woven girdle, and the whole apparition was surrounded by an aureole of shimmering white light.
That heavenly lady walked over the graveyard, followed by a lot of children, singing and jumping and some of them even dancing.
Only one very small girl was following slowly, carrying a heavy crock and seeming to be left behind by the Lady‘s entourage of little ones.
The grieving widow hurried towards the little girl to help her with that heavy load. She was struck with joy and grief in the same moment, when she realized her little daughter, carrying that heavy load.
She tried to draw her daughter away from the procession, but the little girl urged the mother to let her go and follow the Lady in white and blue.
The mother wanted to know why her child was carrying that heavy load, and who the lady was and where she would bring all these children.
He little girl answered her mother‘s questions and let her know, that the heavy crook was the vessel of the mother‘ s grief, filled with the river of tears, the mother had cried in grief for her daughter.
And she knew, that the crock and it‘s content were the reason why the girl stayed more and more behind the procession of merry children.
So she took the crock from the girl and poured it out and smashed the vessel against a stone, so that the crock of grief was shattered into tiny shards.
Now the girl could jump and run and quickly follow the children, who were part of the entourage of Mother Hulda, as the mysterious lady was nobody else than that Goddess of the land Herself – the beautiful protectress of spinners and weavers, of mothers and children, preserver and Queen of the Sacred Land with it‘s pastures of everlasting youth, guide between the worlds and Mother of all living things in our forests and farmlands.
Realizing that, the woman’s heart was filled with comfort and confidence and the knowledge, that one day, she would meet again with her daughter in Mother Hulda’ s Land of ever blooming pastures.
Now the woman could see, where the Lady was leading the procession. She perceived a half open gate, where nothing than thick autumn fogs had been before.
And the gate opened wide into a beautiful landscape, lovely pastures strewn with all kinds of blooming colourful flowers, blooming apple trees and a little murmuring spring.
So the mother’s grief was healed through the vision of Mother Hulda’s Land of Youth, where we meet our beloved ones, when our time to say good bye to material life has come.