Jurate is the Lithuanian Goddess of the Sea. She lived in a kingdom under the sea in a luxurious palace she built. Her palace was made of white, gold, and bronze amber. The windows were diamonds, and the roof was beautiful, beautiful shells. She had many friends; the fish that lived nearby, but sometimes she was still lonely.
The God of Thunder, Perkunas, was in love with Jurate. However Jurate did not return the feeling and was not interested in the thunder god in any way. She rejected and spurned his love many times.
One day while she was monitoring the sea she noticed a fisherman. She came to the surface to talk to the fisherman, and found out his name was Kastytis. She fell in love with him almost instantly, as he did with her. Whenever Kastytis went on a fishing trip Jurate would meet up with him and bring him down to her undersea castle. Using magic, Kastytis was able to breathe and talk in the underwater castle. For many afternoons they would just talk and everyday they fell even deeper in love.
The god of thunder became jealous; not only had she fallen in love with another man, but she had fallen in love with a mortal man! At the time, the gods and goddesses were not allowed to be with mortal men or women. Perkunas took matters into his own hands for punishment. Perkunas chained Kastytis to the bottom of the sea floor and chained Jurate beside him. Without the magic that allowed Kastytis to breathe underwater like before, he drowned. Jurate, being immortal, could not die or drown. She was forced to watch her love die.
Without her magic, her castle started crumbling and slowly washing ashore. Crime or not, it is undeniable that Kastytis and Jurate’s love was true, pure love. It takes true bravery to be in love because love is dangerous.
It is a type of bravery that isn’t noticed; willingly, with love, you change your life completely. You will risk everything, sometimes, just to help or be with that person. When you are in love, you often decide to be with that person for the rest of your life, to put up with them, to make them happy, and nurse them back to health when they are ill. Commitment is scary because sometimes you start off with nothing to lose but then you can’t imagine losing that one, special person. Jurate put everything on the line being with Kastytis, and lost but she would do it again in a heartbeat because love is a new kind of happiness that can’t be mistaken for anything else.
It is said that during any storm, to this day you can still hear Jurate’s great cries of sorrow.
Jurate can help you be brave enough to take all the risks that there is to be in love. She is not a goddess of love, but history hasn’t seen a love story that compares. There is always someone out there for anyone and everyone. To honor her love, and bring you her bravery, Amber is best. Carry her legacy with you to inspire yourself to go against any odds in life to find your love.
~written by Jessica Fairall, age 15; art by conejovlanco user on Fiverr