The story of the edelweiss
Once upon a time, some thousands years ago, during a time period known as the Ice Age, the earth was still covered by thick ice. One night – pretty much like on any other night – it was snowing really hard on the top of one of the tallest mountains of the planet, which we now call the Himalayas. Millions of snowflakes were swirling like crazy in the cold air making the scenery looking just like as if the angels in the sky were having a massive pillow fight!
At his point I should point out that although most people think that all the snowflakes are more or less the same and that they are nothing more than small pieces of icy water, this is not true. Each snowflake, no matter how big or small, is completely different than any other! But the fact that is truly amazing about snowflakes is that they are more than what you see; they have a soul. It might be tiny and cold, but it is still a soul. And this makes them have hopes, fears and dreams – just like humans!
But now lets return to our story. That particular night, among the millions of snowflakes that were falling, there was a very special one. She was the snowflake princess. You see, each time that it is snowing the first snowflake created is the snowflake princess. This one is the prettiest (from a snowflake point of view of course) and largest of all the snowflakes and has the unique privilege to stay in the air the longest time and finally land on earth last, thus, having the longest life span of all. And as is the tradition for the snowflake princesses she was called (in the language of snowflakes) Aea, which in English could be translated as “the white one”.
The weather was really bad and it seemed that the snowstorm would last for a very long, long time. Thus, Aea knew that she would have too much time to enjoy her life, before ending her journey towards the earth. At first she spent some time swinging in the air like a bird’s feather. Then, she made big loops like a show airplane. After that she started to dance with her millions brothers and sisters that were practically everywhere. And she swung and danced and swung again. Finally she got bored. Thus, she stopped and just stood there almost still in mid air watching the dark sky.
At this moment, a swift moonbeam managed to slip through the thick snow clouds. And guess what: this was not just any moonbeam; he was the prince of moonbeams, the brightest and strongest moonbeam of all. This is why he managed to get through the clouds. His name (in the language of moonbeams) was Li, which in English would mean “the noble one”.
Li saw Aea standing still in the air, sparkling like a precious jewel on the reflection of his golden light and he immediately fell in love with her. So, instead of continuing his course towards the earth, he curled around the snowflake and started flirting with her.
- You are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen! he told her.
- The compliment made Aea blush and for a moment there was a pink snowflake in the sky.
- You are even more beautiful than the brightest star, said Li continuing his courtship.
- A star? What is a star?, asked Aea curiously.
- What? You have never seen a star? said Li with surprise. Come with me and I’ll show you what’s a star, he added and he grabbed Aea in his strong beamish arms and flew with her high above the clouds.
The view up there was unbelievable! A golden moon was hanging in the middle of the black sky surrounded by thousands of sparking stars, looking like an infinite swarm of fireflies flying around a huge slice of melon. Aea was amazed by the spectacle!
- These are the stars, Li said pointing to the tiny lights. And this is the moon, where I come from.
- It’s so nice up here! I would like to stay forever. I would like to become a star! said Aea and gave a big icy cold kiss to Li who was so surprised that he almost let her fall off his arms.
Suddenly, an immense power started to pull Aea towards the earth.
- What’s going on? asked Li.
- Oh, no! The snowstorm must be over! I have to fall on the earth now. It’s my destiny. I am sorry but I cannot stay any longer. I have to go, said Aea and a big tear slipped down her chick, quickly turning into a small piece of ice.
- Then I’m coming with you!, said Li who was determined not to leave her.
- But if you come with me on earth you will never be able to come back to the sky. You will never be able to fly to the stars again, Aea told him.
- I don’t care. As long as I am with you I have everything I need. You are my star!, said Li and wrapped his body of light around Aea who was falling.
They hugged each other tightly and traversed together the night sky looking like a tiny comet. When they finally landed on the frozen surface of the earth, before disappearing forever, they made passionate love, in the unique way that only the snowflakes and the moon beams know. The heat of their passion melt the cold ice, revealing a small piece of ground in which they planted a strange seed; the fruit of their love.
The years had passed and finally the sunshine prevailed the stormy weather melting the thick layer of ice that was covering the surface of the earth. And up there on the Himalayas, a small miracle happened: in the place where Li and Aea had vanished, a wonderful flower grew that was white like its mother and noble like its father. But the most amazing fact was that the flower was looking like a star; the star that Aea wished to be and Li told her that she would always be for him.
So, this is why this flower was named the flower of Li and Aea, or Liaea, which would become Noblewhite if we tried to translate it in English, or Edelweiss in German! (in German noble = edel, white = weiss).