Ilmatar was lighter than a feather. As light as air. She could sail above treetops and rooftops, soar through the heavens, climb amongst the stars. Shoot for the moon.
But Ilmatar had a problem with gravity: it wouldn’t hold her. She was buffeted and tossed by every gust and every current that passed her way. She feared that one day when the skies grew dark and the winds blew up that she’d lose her grip entirely and drift off, doomed to float, alone, through the endless wastes of space for all eternity.
Dreaming of being earth-bound, she fell in love with a rock. She lashed herself to the rock so they may never be parted. When the winds came they blew over her, caressing her with their touch, but leaving her safe and grounded. She knew she’d chosen well.
One day the rains came. They came and they stayed. Forty days and forty nights they fell. First the waters rose around Ilmatar and her rock. For a while she floated, anchored by his strength but then the currents washed the ground beneath him away. Her lightness gave him just enough lift that he tumbled and tossed across the flooded earth, carried by the massive force of the current and, being tied to him, so was she. She could see the heavens, see blue sky peeping from behind the steely skies, but his weight stopped her from reaching them. There were times she thought she’d drown.
“Untie yourself,” said the breeze.
“Free yourself,” said the wind.
“Come and join us here, above the world,” said the sun and the sky and the moon but she loved her rock and she would not loose the ties. Sometimes they’d be dashed against bigger rocks. They were battered and scarred, but each time her lightness lifted them away and they survived.
The day arrived when the waters receded. Ilmatar and her rock found themselves high and dry on a sandy shore. The sun beat down and burned off the weight of the water. The sands shifted around the rock, cradling it against the earth once again. In the trees, the birds sang. Butterflies and bees bounced from blossom to blossom, spreading the seed of new life. Soft breezes blew, easing the heat from the air, and Ilmatar was once again free to soar, tethered to the world so she could never fly away.