It wasn’t until the small hours of the night that I picked up my research into folklore and mythology, and dug into a creation myth to understand how one tribe perceived the Northern Lights.
The Legend of Ithenhiela told of a servant boy in the Canadian Northwest, who threw down a clod of soil that became the hills, a piece of moss that became a swamp, and a rock that formed the mountains. This creation myth from the Dog-Rib tribe of the Chippwyan Indians goes on to describe how one young soul helped to free the sun, return a medicine belt to the chief, and find a “shining white home” where he could live forever in the sky.
Inspiration for every tribe
Ithenhiela’s journey was not without struggle, as he fled from a cruel and wicked warlord, crossed a mighty river, and evaded the blades of two blind women who waited for his demise in a tepee far away. But it was the boy who, when he tried to fetch his arrow from a tree, climbed into the Sky Country, and “journeyed hard” to leave his legacy on the earth.
There is so much more to this tale, from the kindness of strangers to the two-year old moose, Hottah, who was so clever he formed a plan to help the servant boy. But it’s legends like these that have me thinking about creation myths, and the inspiration they hold in store for every tribe.
If we could each compose our own creation myth or origin story, imagine how we could change the trajectory of our lives.
Reach for the ‘Sky Country’
For myself, the notion of writing our own stories has taken on a literal translation, as I’ve turned my focus in 2016 to writing new chapters, revising the lines, and studying creative storytelling.
There’s more to it than that, though, as I have resolved to make my dream of publishing a novel become a reality.
I have always believed deep down that we can control our own destiny. While the last six years have challenged that value to the core — and the last few months have been no exception — I still believe with all my heart that it is true.
That’s why I’ve been sharing my journey on social media channels, hoping to inform, connect, and inspire others who might be walking down a similar path. The updates also help to keep me focused on the goal.
We have a hundred clichés to describe this experience, but what do we do have to lose if we live with intention and purpose? What do we stand to lose if we reach for the Sky Country?
Finding your origin story
This fall is such an exciting season for me, that I find myself constantly beaming with gratitude and at times metaphorically falling to my knees. As two literary agents hold the first 50 pages of my novel, I’m waiting with sharp anticipation to find out what they’ll say. The novel explores mythology and folklore, relating a mysterious natural phenomenon to one woman’s journey on earth.
On the other hand, the support of my husband, family, and friends — as well as talented people from the worlds of writing and aurora chasing — has allowed me to pursue my passion for creativity. In October, I’ll have the chance to study “Finding Your Origin Story” and many other topics, as I join accomplished authors and storytellers at Nerdcon: Stories.
Then at the end of the month, I’ll be presenting a session on “Aurora Folklore & Mythology,” as I help to put on an annual gathering for people who seek out one of life’s greatest mysteries — the Aurora Borealis. In the meantime, I’ll keep telling my story and sharing the journey online, as I write each new chapter. If I work hard enough, maybe my origin story will spring out of this year, and I’ll have more stories to tell in the years ahead!
It’s my hope that you, too, will get the chance to explore your own creation myth. You never know what strengths you may find, when you tell your own origin story.
For those who are planning to join me for “Aurora Folklore & Mythology” in October, I can’t wait for our storytelling session on the North Shore. And I hope you’ll bring some stories of your own!