A woman wanted to marry someone perfect
So she married the sun.
But then she broke the rule and looked at him
so she turned into a flower.
There was a king with seven daughters, six of them were married. When the time came for the youngest daughter to be married the king was in a quandary. As princely suitors arrived to the castle gates with horns blaring and banners waving, the princess would turn them away.
The king was beside himself with worry as she rejected one prince after another. Finally he asked her, “Daughter, why do you send away these fine men?” She told her father that she had seen her older sisters married to men who seemed handsome, wealthy or kind only to find out after the marriage that the man was not everything he seemed to be.
Her oldest sister married a handsome prince who was insufferably vain. The next married an honest prince who gave away his land and titles. The next, wealthy prince, cruel to his subjects. The next a kind prince, with an empty head. The next a wise prince who spends no time in the bedroom. The next a sensual prince with countless mistresses. And the next married a devoted prince who made her sister stand up on a column to be admired by him alone. Day in day out.
All had qualities that were charming from a certain distance, but up close their strengths were their weakness. The young princess was determined to learn from her sister’s mistakes and marry her perfect love.
At this her father grew very angry, “perfect love? If you insist on finding perfect love you will be waiting a very long time indeed. You’ll grow old waiting for this perfect man and by then no one will want you. No this will not do. Marry now or get out!”
And so she packed her bag and left home for the last time, determined to prove her father wrong and find perfect love. From kingdom to kingdom she searched, feeling more desperate and alone at every turn. Every road was a dead end, every path led to brambles, she would climb a mountain only to find ten thousand more beyond it.
Her only comfort on the journey was knowing the sun would rise in the morning. Warm her back in the day and at night when it set she would be sure it would return the next day. And so it did, rising every morning warming her back and setting and rising. Day in day out.
In time she realized she was following the path it made and so she followed it right to the edge of the world. There at the edge she saw a castle and watched the sun drop behind the castle wall. She had found the house of the sun. She pounded on the gate and as it opened she imagined she would finally see his perfect face but instead she met with a leather skinned old woman.
“Oh dear look at you dress in rags- so sweaty, what are you doing here? Oh my son told me some one was following him, he said she was beautiful.”
The princess explained that she was on a journey to find her perfect love, that she had followed the sun to the end of the earth and in that time had fallen in love with him. The old woman was excited, she had wanted her son to marry a princess for a long time.
But the old woman had one rule. Whoever married her son could never look at him directly. Strange thought the princess, but she was exhausted and desperate and so close to being with her perfect love that she accepted.
And so they were married and spent many beautiful nights together. The day she spent with the old woman, but it was ok because she was able to rest. And resting she was able to think and thinking she was able to imagine what it would be like to look directly at her perfect love.
So in spite of the rule not to look at him she came up with a plan.
[…See him through the lens of her water glass at the dinner table…]
The old woman saw her fall silent, saw her staring. She had broken the rule, and she was thrown out of the house.
She could not go back to her father’s house, she didn’t wan’t to go back with the old woman so she stood in her spot outside the gate all night with the image of her perfect love burned into her mind. The sun had no choice but to rise the next morning and when he did he was so glad to see her standing there outside the castle he warmed her shoulders in the day and at night he knew she would be there again in the morning. And so she was. Day in day out. In time her feet grew roots down into the ground, he body became a woody trunk her hair petals, and her arms vibrant green leaves.
And so transformed, she watched the sun cross the sky, and he watched her, she had found a way to love perfectly.