The other day I found myself atop the Blue Mountains.
Beholding the Three Sisters.
In their spectacular majesty.
I have seen them before. Many times in fact. But the sight still leaves me a little breathless.
The valley is so expansive and still. And the Three Sisters stand there, keeping watch for all eternity. Proud and tall. For some reason I always start to ponder the meaning of life and death and time…
Anyway, thousands and thousands of people go there every year. They mull about, buy gelato and point at the highest peaks. They cluster together and take photos and gaze at the incredible rock formation. Sometimes one will utter, “Hm, I wonder how they got there?”
Then they leave.
Sadly, most people will never know the true answer to that question. It’s an ancient story but it doesn’t take long to tell. If you care to listen, here’s what the local indigenous people will tell you:
There once lived three sisters. Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo. They lived with their tribe deep in the Blue Mountains.
The sisters possessed incredible beauty and a free spirit. They were elegant and charming and their beauty was renown across the land.
The story starts on a crisp autumn evening….
It’s twilight and three brothers from a nearby tribe are out to hunt. By coincidence, or by fate, they cross paths with the sisters, who are also out collecting firewood.
Now, the sisters tribe and the brothers tribe are fierce rivals. It’s been that way since time began. History is littered with stories of bloody battles and bloodshed between them.
But on that particular evening the brothers do not reach for their weapons. And the sisters do not flinch either. They can not. Because at that instant, the brothers are falling completely in love. And the sisters too, are falling for the brothers.
As night falls, the brothers and sisters return to their respective tribes, knowing that their love is forbidden, but refusing to deny it.
The brothers plead and argue and try to convince the elders to allow them to wed the sisters. But it it clear that their union will never be permitted. They are frustrated and angry and a war breaks out between the tribes.
The fighting is ferocious and brutal. It goes on for days and days. And as the battle intensifies, the sisters lives are increasingly put at risk.
To keep them safe a witch doctor formulates a plan and casts a spell. He turns each of the girls into a rock that overlooks the valley and the fighting below. The witch doctor promises to undo the spell when the war ends and the danger passes. But he never gets the chance.
The witch doctor himself is killed in the battle. And no other witch doctor since has had the power to reverse his spell.
And so, to this day the sisters are set as rock. Their love unfulfilled, but their beauty never fading.
And that is how the Three Sisters were formed.