M is for Mermaid vs. Sorrow

We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Finding Resilience & Strength through Traditional Tales.

Mermaid –

From Chile

Chile is a stable country despite going through some economic catastrophes. About 18% of people live below the poverty line. As a comparison, about 11.6% of people live below the poverty line in the United States. That’s a lot of people for both. Though, there is much hope that Chile will continue to reduce that percentage of people struggling.

Mariana, the Old Woman in the story, noticed Village Children who constantly played by the sea. We don’t know if these Children have parents or if this may be how they survive on their own. Yet, by the end, the Children at least accept food from Mariana rather than staying back and keeping their distance.

Now, as we do delve into seafood with this story a little, what are popular dishes? Consider these: abalone with mayonnaise (locos con mayonesa); mussels with rice (choritos con arroz); mussels with garlic and sausage (choritos al vapor); baked corvina sea bass (corvina al horno); abalone soup (sopa de locos); crab casserole (pastel de jaiba); razor clams with salt, butter, and cheese (machas a la parmesana); fish soup with conger eel (caldillo de congrio); shellfish stew (paila marina); and a dish that combines clams, mussels, barnacles, dumplings, and vegetables (curanto).

50-word-or-less summary:

Mariana was old and alone. Village Kids stayed away from her. Storm! Sea-wolves ravaged land. After storm, Mariana found Merchild. Took care of her. Merchild’s Mother returned but knew Merchild safer with Mariana for the moment. Village Kids hung around. Merchild grew. Mother returned. Mariana still loved by Village Kids.

Finding the Story: 

Book “Mariana and the Merchild: A Folk Tale from Chile” – here

10 Most Popular Chilean Seafood Dishes (as shared above) – here

Finding Resilience & Strength:

Mariana was alone. She knew that she needed people help shake out of the depression that she was having. Yet, the Village Children feared her for some reason or another. Children do like to create stories. Perhaps they told stories of magic that she could do or mysterious and scary things. Even when Mariana was an old woman who needed a friend or more.

When the Village Children see her care for the Merchild, they could see her kindness mixed with her sadness. Mariana was not scary anymore. When it was time for the Merchild to return home to the sea, the Village Children accepted that invite to eat with Mariana. Can you imagine the flutter in Mariana’s heart when they said, “Yes”? She would already be sad due to the Merchild leaving. Yet, here was healing.

Even the Merchild’s Mother said that she came because of Mariana. That Mother may have suspected what was needed not only to save her Merchild from the Sea-Wolves but this woman, too. That Mother, being willing to part with her child for a little while, to help another? Truly lovely and full of love, strength, and resilience.

Here’s an article from The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds called “Reducing Stress for You and Your Baby” to explore mental health and strategies.

Please share thoughts in the comments. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings. See quick list of programs here.

As for our past A to Z Challenges…

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has been resilient and strong during these past years and looks forward to the next hybrid summit & festival on May 8-11, 2023. We would be honored for you to join us. Explore the schedule and register here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/Festival

Thanks to funding from National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Western States Arts Federation; Utah Division of Arts and Museums/Utah Legislature; Utah Humanities; City of Murray; Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) of Salt Lake County; Salt Lake City Arts Council; Ashton Family Foundation

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Story Crossroads fosters creative and compassionate communities through the art of storytelling. 501(c)(3)

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