The Daughter of the Sun and the Son of the Moon

March 3, 2008
By Sonja Nelson, Mt. Shasta, CA

Once upon a time. Whisper those words, for they are not of this world. They are the beginning of a fairytale, and whisper that word too, yes, the beginning of a fairytale, but not ours. Ah, if only the beginning of our fairytale were as simple as the words ‘once upon a time.’ But it is not, and perhaps that is what keeps us going.

Everyone has a once upon a time. Many, in fact, because time is now. Once upon a time, the world began. But what came before? So the words are a beginning, but not really. Not the beginning of everything. Just the beginning of now. Now, I am a child, and I can whisper those words. But as people grow older, they forget. They forget that they are part of a fairytale, and they can no longer say the words.

As you read this story, whisper the words, and know that this fairytale is real, that it is now. It is just a small story, and really doesn’t have anything to do with much. Until you look deeper, and brush away the thick layer of dust on these wrinkled, ink stained pages in your mind. And whisper the words…

Once upon a time…

There was a girl. Her eyes were blue, like sapphires, like the sky. Her lips were red like rubies, or like a dusky setting sun. Her hair was golden, like sun rays, and when she smiled, the world was bathed in warm light, because she, was the daughter of the Sun himself.

The Sun’s daughter was beautiful, yes, but she was lonely, as beauty often is. She sat in the gleaming tower all day and forever, because for her there was no night. She sat at the window and watched the fading horizon. For her it was always fading, fading away as the Sun’s castle rode away, always away. And though the day for her was always bright and gorgeous, she longed for the night so strongly that she feared her sobbing heart would drown inside of her. But the night was always on the opposite side of the world.

And on that other side, the Lord of the Night was the Moon, whose palace was silver as, well, silver is. And at the window, stood the Moon’s son, whose hair was sliver as his rays, and whose eyes, black as the night sky, gazed forever at the fading horizon, fading, fading always away. And though the night was sweet and tranquil, the son of the Moon yearned for the day so greatly he thought his weeping heart would flood in tears.

Sometimes, the Moon’s son would glimpse the daughter of the Sun on the other side of the horizon, and sometimes she would glimpse him, and when her indigo eyes met his charcoal ones, he knew that she wished for the night as he did the day, and they loved each other at once. They were the same.

The daughter of the Sun begged her father to let her go to the night, and the son of the Moon begged his father to let him journey to the day. But the Sun and the Moon refused. They told their children that it could never be, that the night and the day could never meet. The world was not made that way, they said, there had to be a balance.
But there was not a balance. Their sadness was so great, and their tears fell from the sky and drenched the earth in rain so thick that the Sun and the Moon could not be seen at all.
Finally when their Fathers could not stand it any longer, they consented. The Sun flew in his castle toward the night, and the Moon flew in his castle toward the day. The daughter of the Sun reached her arms out of the brilliant golden palace, as far as they would go, and the Moon’s son stretched his out to meet hers. The two palaces drew eagerly toward each other. Their tears dried in the wind, and the sky cleared.

The grandchildren of the Skys smiles were reflected in each other’s eyes. The world, the sky, the universe, waited in perfect stillness as the castles came to a halt and the daughter of the Sun and the son of the Moon each left their homes for the first time and ran to meet each other. All held its breath…

And then, the world went black.

Sadness is that thing you have in place of what you cannot. But it does not fill that empty space. Just adds to it. It’s a wish really.

The sadness of the Sun and Moon’s children was an impossible wish, for night and the day cannot be one.

For a few magical moments, the children were together, but by something they could not explain, they were drawn silently back to their palaces, and their fathers quietly flew them away. The Sun’s daughter leaned out her window and waved softly goodbye, and the Moon’s son lifted his pale hand in farewell. As a last tear dropped from their eyes, the Sun restored the day and the Moon the night, and the eclipse was over.

Although most fairytales end with a happily ever after, there are some which do not.

But this is not one of them.

Sometimes they would glimpse each other, at the other end of the horizon. And when the eyes of the Sun’s daughter met the eyes of the Moon’s son, they knew that they loved each other, and that was enough. They knew that the night and the day were not meant to be one, and never would be. But every once in a while, in that rare eclipse, they can be together again.
It has to be this way because there has to be a balance. Between sorrow and happily ever afters.
Did you whisper this story aloud as you read it? This fairytale? Now brush away the dust. Whisper the words, happily ever after…

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