The Affair of the Sun and the Moon

Ari Rivera December 14, 2020
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Long ago when the gods still walked the earth, the sky god ruled over all. His influence spread across the lands, from the deep depths of the ocean to the tip of the highest star. With his thunderous voice and stormy disposition, he could even control the sun and the moon. Both goddesses were just so young in his eyes, they could never understand the ways of the world without his guidance.
Every day before sunrise he would meet the sun goddess and warn her, “Though you can see the moon from your place in the sky, you two may never meet. If you do so, you will lose yourself along the way.” Every day she would look at him confused, unsure what could be so bad about meeting another goddess.
Then in the same way, the sky god would approach the moon goddess every night before sunset and warn her, “Though you reflect the light from the sun, you two may never meet. If you do so, you will lose yourself along the way.” Every night she would nod, but couldn’t help but be drawn to the distant lights from below.
What felt like eons past, the two goddesses being almost completely isolated from each other. It didn’t feel right. There was something pulling them together, something neither of them could explain. And so at dawn, a newly formed hour, the sun and the moon decided to shine at the same time. It was like their own little secret, where they could meet in the one place the sky god would never find them: the earth. For the earth goddess was a gentle one, never rising, always refusing to interfere in the matters of the other gods. The sun and moon were safe to do as the pleased.
The second the sun goddess saw the moon, she could not believe her eyes. Because even though the sun can always see the full moon from afar, she had no idea the moon could ever be this beautiful. And when the moon goddess saw the sun, she was completely taken. For while the moon shines the light of the sun at night, she had never seen such beauty close. She was more than happy to bask in the warm company the sun offered.
In that moment their destinies became intertwined. The two goddesses spent as much time as possible talking, exchanging soft words and softer smiles in this sanctuary they found. When it finally became time for a proper sunrise, they promised to see each other again. It felt like the perfect moment, which might be why neither noticed the moon returned home a little dimmer that day.
The sun and the moon continued to meet in secret every day, creating ‘dusk’ to perfectly balance out ‘dawn’. The sun seemed to get brighter with every encounter, never without the feeling of that first spark. Meanwhile, even though the moon was at her happiest, she was slowly losing her shine.
The next time they met, the moon gifted the sun with a moonflower. It is a soft white blossom that can only bloom in the beauty of darkness. “It is special,” she said. “I trust you to take care of it.” The sun goddess was ecstatic at the sight, unable to say no to such a lovely plant, and the two went their separate ways.
The day after, the moon gifted the sun with the tides. “Only you can warm the water that touches the earth. They are important, and I trust you to take care of them.” And how could the sun goddess refuse? She happily accepted, and the two went their separate ways.
On the third day, just as the sun began to set, the moon chariot lost its power. The goddess panicked at the sight, having no way to pull the moon across the sky. Something was wrong, the world had been thrown out of balance. Through the cloud of fear, the sun goddess emerged from the darkness. She could give the moon goddess her light, but only for a little while, just enough to last the night.
The moon was growing too weak, barely making it home come daybreak. She didn’t understand what was going on, and couldn’t bring herself to believe that this newfound brightness was toxic to her. How could it be, when she was so happy? All she wanted to do was see the sun again. Before she realized though, the sky god had taken notice.
He frowned at the sight of her weakened state, growing more and more furious by the second. “You did not heed my warnings, and so have lost yourself. You broke the balance, the same balance that I must keep in check. How could you have deliberately disobeyed me? I now must correct the ways of the world that you have ruined.” Clouds began swirling above them in anger, and the moon goddess was certain that she had met her untimely end.
Then the world underneath them began to shake, the sky god forced away from her. When the moon goddess found the courage to look up, she saw that the earth had risen. This sweet, gentle giant once again offered the moon safety. “The sky has no control over me.” She spoke so calmly as the moon struggled to find her voice. “I will give you refuge and you will grow strong again under my care. In exchange, the tides will be returned and the flowers must be planted in their proper home. You will need to live in the darkness, my dear, where the sun cannot see you.”
There was no other option for the moon. To this day she sits, waxing and waning without light, waiting until she can see the sun again.

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