You may, perhaps, be feeling a touch of darkness just now, of despair, of grief.
Feelings, alas, that many watermaidens and snowmaidens understand all too well.
Most, of course, are solitary sorts, keeping themselves hidden in their rivers and springs and ponds, hiding from mortals and fairies alike. A few have even, by choice or coercion, spent their lives half-frozen behind snow and ice, a condition that, however cold and uncomfortable, keeps their hearts secure from pain. Others live only through a single rainfall, a life too swift, too ephemeral, for sorrow or joy.
But even the most solitary watermaiden may find herself grieving over the loss of a nearby tree, or the disappearance of a favorite owl. Even the most frozen snowmaiden may hear a crack in the ice surrounding her, and for a moment – just a moment – think of pain, or feel despair. And those who have spent thousands of years hiding in the depths of their lakes, can tell you of long dark nights, when they wondered if they would ever see light dance through their waters again. Others sing of lost friends, of lost loves, of moonlit evenings they must not forget.
And those a little less solitary, a little closer to mortals – their sorrows can be even sharper. Many have watched as their homes are threatened, or sobbed as fewer and fewer birds arrived each year. Others have dared to talk to mortals, and even more – something that can bring joy or pain.
After all, watermaidens can fall in love, even if they are made of water.
And today, by decree fee, the Official Day of Watermaidens, is a day for remembering those sorrows, those fears, those despairs.
A day where the shimmer on the water you see, out of the corner of your eye, might be no more than a shimmer or a flash of light. Or where a twirling mist might be just an ordinary mist. The water shaking in your glass nothing more than a nearby breeze.
Or it might be a watermaiden, letting you know that she understands.
Watermaidens Day is the brainchild of folklorist Nin Harris. As always, I’m just borrowing it for fun.