All stories begin somewhere, after all, how else could it start without a beginning? Some start when adventure rises, others begin at the end, and this one starts before the beginning. Our journeys begin when a simple gardener fell in love with the Night.
In the deepest parts of the Evergreen woods stood a small house. A small grey brick house, barely large enough for an adult man. The large deciduous trees of the forest made this house as small as a field mouse in comparison. Behind this house though, was a glorious rose garden. White roses shown like freshly fallen snow in the early morning moonlight. Quartz stepping stones created complex pathways along a large pond. Lily pads and koi danced in the subtle ripples of the water, as a waterfall gently flowed into the stream. And in the night fungi and algae lit the pathways around the garden, it was truly a sight to behold. This beautiful work of botany was kept by one gardener, which to the few who ventured into the woods, made this even more of a sight to behold.
This gardener was a very odd, bird-like, fellow. It was difficult to tell which parts were really bird, and which parts were really man. A complexion of a raven, some say, and a very quiet man too, spending the days venturing out into the woods and the nights tending to the roses. The garden was a sight to behold, something that any person would be proud of, but The Gardener only saw this as simple work, all nature’s work. Why be proud of helping nature grow? To him it was something anyone could do. But to others, it was something more.
As the sun fell over the horizon, the Gardener set out once again to tend to the flowers, yet this night as he did he was met with a voice.
"Dearest Gardener, how can you keep such fine roses?"
He looked around him, yet no one was there. He cautiously answered, "It is nature that does all the work, i just see to it that the work is done well."
He looked around him again, searching for the source of the lovely voice, yet there was no one there but him. Until of course, he looked up.
A tall and ethereal woman descended from the sky, her skin was a deep rich dark color and her hair seemed to be filled with stars. Whenever she moved her hair would flow and seamlessly blend into the night sky until it settled. Her feet seemed firm on the ground yet if she moved no indent in the grass was made.
"Every night i see your roses, their bright white color shines out against the black of my night, and it is absolutely divine." She spoke softly, yet her words echoed in the Gardener's mind. To say that he transfixed was an understatement. This beautiful goddess of a woman came from nowhere and complemented his garden? That is not something people see or hear every day. This was something one would only find in folk tales! He shook off his amazement and looked at the roses. “I guess you see my roses as i see the stars every night.” He trimmed a rose off of the bush and handed it to her. She looked at it, as if she two saw an ethereal being float down from the heavens. “I can’t accept this, it’s far too kind.”
He gently took the rose from her hand and placed it in her hair. “My roses will grow back, It’s not a problem to me.”
The woman smiled sweetly at him, yet she was starting to fade away. The sun was rising and she grew dimmer the brighter it got. “I must go, but before I do, please sir, tell me your name.” She took his hands, her grip grew lighter.
“I have no name, I was always just called Gardener.”
She gently let go.
“I am known by many names, but you may know me, as Night.”
The Night faded into the sky, and though the stars grew dimmer and dimmer, one star shown brightly until the sun had fully risen.
For years, Night visited the Gardener, and every day he gave her a single rose. The stars shone brighter and brighter for every rose, and the two struggled more and more when dawn came. One night though, the Gardener had run out of roses.
“Fair Night, I have no more roses to give, my garden’s beautiful roses are gone… How will you ever want to return?” He grew teary, fearful his one friend, and one love, would leave him. The Night laughed at this idea. “My dear, you gave me something I loved without hesitation for years, destroying your prized roses in the process. You filled my night sky with more beautiful bright stars. How could I ever leave you?” She embraced her lover, washing away all of his anxiety like footprints in the sand. “My dearest Gardener, you have given me so much, so for you I will give you one of my stars. Tomorrow night, I shall repay you for all your kindness, my love.”
And she did.
That wonderful night she came down from the heavens with a glowing package, a beautiful, bright, bundle. She gave him a small baby, no more than a year old, she gave him one of her stars.
This legend may sound fake, no better than a folk tale, but all those roses in the sky are true, because this is the story, Of our dearest Cordelia.
The brightest star in the sky.