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Legend of the Rising Sun
The Sun loved his job. Every day, he saw new things in the world to capture his interest. He loved to watch the way that humans changed and grew, how they reacted to life's various challenges and blessings, and how they saw meaning in the most fleeting things.
He rose one morning over a small country town and looked down to see who was outside enjoying his warmth. Then the Sun beheld the most beautiful young girl he had ever seen, wandering through her family's garden. She looked so radiant and happy as she moved through his golden light, stopping often to watch the birds or admire and pick a flower.
There are many who do not believe in love at first sight, but that is only because they have never experienced it. The Sun became a fervent believer in that moment. He admired her beauty from his high place in the sky all morning, and he shone gloriously just for her, until she went back indoors.
He continued about his business, but nothing else he saw in the world could distract him from the thought of the girl. He continued to look in on her every day, to learn more about her life and to discover new things to love about her. She was not a princess or a noble lady. Her father was a schoolmaster, a naturally gentle man, and his daughter had inherited his mild manner. Her mother was a painter, and the girl was also creative and appreciative of beauty. She was blissfully unaware of the pain and misery which existed in her world in no short supply, and so she was full of trust and faith.
A year passed, and the Sun watched, and he struggled to come up with some way that he could tell her how much he loved her. He was stuck doing his daily rounds, though, and, even if he could leave the sky, the Sun could not touch the girl without burning her. The problem tortured him. He was the Sun, splendid and fiery, with the power to cover the planet with life or burn it to a cinder, yet he could never tell one beautiful girl how much he cared for her.
Finally, his companions, the moon and stars, and the spirit of the sky, all took notice of how troubled he was.
"Brother," they called to him, "You do your job well, as usual, but please tell us what has made you so unhappy."
He told them, and they did not understand, for such a thing had never before been heard of among the heavens.
They all thought it over, however, and the spirit of the sky came to the Sun and said, "You work hard and travel the same track every day. I shall give your job to another for one week, and you may go to Earth in the form of a man. Tell this girl everything you wish to say."
Overwhelmed with joy, the Sun took the shape of a golden-haired young man and came to the town in the country, asking the girl's father to give him lodging. The gentle schoolmaster gladly gave him the spare room.
But the Sun found that being a man was not as easy as it looked, which was a serious thing, since it had never looked very easy at all. He found that the need for sleeping and eating took up much of his precious time. All the daily functions of a human life were very strange to him, and his ignorance often got him into awkward situations.
The most diffcccult part, he found, was talking to the girl. The Sun did not have much occasion for conversation with anyone during his usual daily routine, and now that he needed to converse he found that he had very little idea of how it was done, and his feelings for the girl made his stomach flutter and tied his tongue in knots. She was kind to him, but there was no real sign that she returned his feelings, and in any case, a week was too short to tell.
On the last day, the Sun was shaking with nervousness, a feeling and sensation he had never before experienced, as he approached the girl's father.
"Sir, I humbly ask for your daughter's hand in marriage."
The schoolmaster was taken aback, but he considered the idea with all seriousness, for he liked the young man.
"What is your occupation?" he asked.
"I am the Sun."
The schoolmaster laughed. "The Sun? That would never do! The Sun would be gone all day long, and he would be too tired at night to be a proper husband. Even should my daughter accompany you on your daily rounds, she is only human and could never withstand the heat. Unless you have a different occupation, I cannot allow my daughter to marry you."
The Sun returned to the sky downcast. The next several days were blanketed in fog as the dispirited Sun shone but dimly.
The spirit of the Sky asked, "What troubles you now?"
The Sun explained, and then asked the Sky if he could give up his job and become a man forever.
The Sky asked, "Did you enjoy being a man?"
"No," the Sun admitted.
"And," said the Sky, indicating the heavens arrayed around them and the Earth laid out below, "Would you not miis this view?"
"With all my heart," said The Sun.
"The Sun is more than your job; it is who you are," said the Sky, "Would you give up yourself for this girl?"
The Sun sighed and answered, "No, I would not. I could not."
"Then return to your duty and your purpose," advised the Sky, "and do what you can for this girl, given the circumstances."
And so the Sun rose each morning and watched over his love, and her life was always full of sunshine.
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