The Legend of the Cedar Tree
A retelling of a Cherokee Legend
A long time ago, people did not understand the reason for nighttime. They thought it would be wonderful if there was only daytime. During the day, the sun shone and plants grew. Wouldn’t it be a better world if that could happen all the time? They asked the Creator if it would be possible to always have daytime.
The Creator listened and granted their wish.
Since it was day all the time, everything grew constantly. Soon the world was covered with overgrown forests, meadows and gardens. The people pulled weeds and cut back the ever-growing brush every day, only to find it all grew back immediately. Because the sun was always shining, the world got hotter and hotter. The people couldn’t sleep because there was no night. They became tired, hot and very cranky.
“We made a big mistake,” the people said. They asked the Creator to make it night all the time instead. The Creator, who loved the people, granted their wish, even though the Creator thought that there should be day and night.
Since it was night all the time, the world became very cold, and everything stopped growing. People had to spend all their time building fires to stay warm. They became hungry because their crops did not grow. Many of the people died.
“We made another mistake,” the people said. They went to the Creator again and asked for there to be day and night just like it was in the first place.
The Creator made day and night again, and the people were very happy. They thanked the Creator. But the Creator felt very sad that so many people had died during the time of all night.
So the Creator made a new tree, the cedar tree, and put all the spirits of the people who had perished in it.
When a person who is Cherokee smells the beautiful scent of the cedar tree or finds a cedar tree, they are seeing their ancestors.
Have a great day! Don’t forget to get out in nature. Do you have any cedar trees nearby? Find one and enjoy their fragrant aroma and beauty.