Azerbaijani Legend: Motherly Love

Gabala region is admittedly one of the most beautiful places around Azerbaijan, that overflows with not only natural landscapes but the rich history and culture that travelled centuries and centuries to get to the point in which we find it today. Every region is unique, with the culture being the main differencing point and Gabala, with its treasury of stories and legends having their roots on these mesmerizing lands is not different. Legends and myths are playing a big part in the forming of every nation, its very soul speaking through these pieces of folklore. This azerbaijani legend uncovers the struggles of losing your most important people, of loss and grief at the same time as it teaches us the beauty of finding piece within you, of moving forward and healing.

Before we start it's safe to say, that while travelling the country, you might come across trees that are not only fenced off but also have a peculiarity that differs them from others: on every branch of these trees, you can notice pieces of clothing or material tied to it. In Azerbaijani, such places considered to be lucky and somewhat, adding your knot on such a tree can make you wish come true or protect you. Usually, before going on a long trip azerbaijanis tend to visit those places to make the road easy.

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There's a legend revolving around the trees, that uncovers the meaning behind it. In Gabala, there was once a family of three. It was a deeply loving family, with parents cherishing their only child and the son growing up with great respect for his father and mother. They lived in one of the small villages high up in mountains, and, no matter the small conflicts they had, in those years they were irrepressible happy.

When the son hit the gentle age of 8 years, the storm started looming over their house. Time went by and the poor child started feeling weaker and weaker as he was falling sick day by day. Soon enough, he spent most days of his short life tied to the bed, only getting a rare breath of fresh air when his mother would help him out so he can rest in their big garden for a short time. The parents tried to do everything in their power to prevent the tragedy happening but every doctor they brought to their home threw up their hands. So, with their hearts bleeding, they decided to make the best of the worst for poor boy, setting up a comfortable sitting area for their son right between the trees, where he would usually settle down to listen to the stories his mother would share with him.

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Months passed as he got sicker, until his body couldn't tolerate such pain anymore. He passed away quietly and peacefully while in his sleep, but the aftermath of losing their only child made the parents irreparable damaged. And even though, father was overcome with grief, with time he learned to rebuild his sanity in the sake of his wife who seemingly couldn't find it in herself to move on. She spent every day of her life sitting by the chair that used to be her son's in their garden, stuck in the time when her beloved child was still alive and well.

She never seemed to shed any tears but sometimes from the window the husband would watch his usually cheerful and bright wife talk quietly or tell fairytales to the empty space before her. Then, he would drop to his knees praying for God to help her somehow move on and bring his wife back to him. Nothing happened for the long time, and the father started slowly losing hope regarding the recoverance of his wife.

One day something unexpected happened: while the father was working quietly in the garden next to his grieving wife, she came running to him, frantically trying to pull him towards the empty space where their child used to spend his days. When he came closer, he saw a tiny tree sprout, coming out the ground and before he could return his voice, his wife said hastily:

"Our son visited me tonight in my dreams. He was sitting right next to the tree that has grown right on this spot, looking as healthy and carefree as I remember him before all went down. He looked up at me, asking me silently to sit beside him and when I did, our son confessed how grateful he is for the chance at life we tried to give him but how much he hates the sufferings that we put ourselves through. He begged me then to be gentle with myself and you. When I woke up I cried for a long time before I could come out here again. Once I sat there for a long time, I started seeing the smallest sprout that was coming out the ground right where he sat in my dream." the tears were now streaming down her face but for the first time for what felt like years to an old man he was rewarded with a weak smile playing on her lips.

azerbaijani legend

Unable to contain his happiness, he launched forward, wrapping her in a tight hug. After this event, sun slowly started coming back up, pushing the stormy clouds away. They would spend time cherishing the memory of their son, instead of mourning it. Every day the wife and the husband would sit beside the tree sprout, reminding each other of all the good times they had all together. The sprout grew drastically fast, in ten years already hugging the skies with its branches.

After many years of quiet life, while passing away from old age the wife asked her husband to take her handkerchief and tie it to one of the branches to honor and cherish the memory of their beloved child forever. That's how this azerbaijani legend ends, with the whole village learning about this tradition and coming to this tree to pray for their loved ones and themselves. To appreciate and remember the love they have within themselves, they would bind a piece of clothing to the said tree.

Time moved forward and now you can see these trees all over the country, being an important place for a lot of people who also find themselves in a need of a certain anchor, that will give them hope. It became a symbol of longing, love and desire. Gabala is supposedly the heart of this story, harboring it along with thousands of other tales, that wait to be uncovered. The simple wisdom of these places can teach anyone a lot of valuable lessons that one will carry along their whole life.

If you're interested in hearing or seeing more of these landscapes graced with both deep culture and history, Azerbaijan Travel International is thrilling to welcome you on our Gabala-Sheki Tour.

Tags: Gabala , Azerbaijan , Caucasus , Arabic legend

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