The time of the fall equinox is here. Day and night are equal again. Light and darkness are in balance. Is this the secret to life? We should take this a lot more literal than we are used to. We should not always jump straight to the psychological interpretation. This nice little folk tale from Slovakia gives us a hint:
The Journey to the Sun and the Moon
Once upon a time there was a rich farmer who had a beautiful daughter called Hanuschka. In the neighborhood there lived a poor shepherd, who had a son, and whose name was Jenik.
Hanuschka and Jenik were very fond of each other; she was like a dove, he was like a hawk. All people were happy when they saw them together. Jenik had everything her heart desired, even though he was very poor. The girl did not mind, but her father did.
One day, the young man took a heart, put on his best robe, went to the rich farmer, and asked for the hand of his daughter. The farmer said to him: "Listen, Jenik, it's not that easy. If you want my daughter, you have to make a journey to the sun and the moon. I want to know why the sun does not shine and warm at night, and I also want to know why the moon does not glow during the day. If you know that, then come back and I'll give you my daughter."
So said the farmer, thinking that Jenik would burn near the sun and never return. Jenik heard the peasant's words, promised to leave immediately, and said goodbye to Hanuschka. Whistling cheerfully, he wandered over mountains and valleys, forests and fields and finally stood before the rising sun. Jenik asked her, "Why, dear Sun, do you not shine at night?" The sun now rose bright in the sky. "The earth would have to burn if I glowed and warmed at night as well as by day!" Jenik waved thanks to the sun and walked on.
One fine evening, he suddenly stood in front of the rising moon. "Hello, dear Moon, why do you only shine at night and not during the day?" - "I could not bring the dew by day. The earth would wither, because it needs the dew as the blessing of God. That's why I only light at night." Thus spoke the moon, and hurried away over the mountains.
Now Jenik knew what he wanted to know and made his way home with quick steps. When Hanuschka met him, she danced around him with joy and happiness. The rich farmer could barely believe his eyes when he suddenly saw Jenik standing in front of him. He now had to consent to the wedding. It was celebrated with so much music that the mountains reverberated, there was food, the pans overflowed with groats and sweet honey, and for a long time everybody spoke of this beautiful celebration.
Obviously, the farmer knew very well the secret to life and successful farming,
which was that an ever shining sun would mercilessly burn his fields and that it were the moonlit nights that brought moisture and coolness as a necessary change. It was
the balance of both which made his life prosperous. Knowing this made him a rich farmer. So now that Jenik knew this as well, the farmer could confidently consent to
their marriage. Hanuschka and Jenik would have a solid understanding of balance in nature.
An observer on the face of the earth gets to witness the elegant dance of the sun and the moon up in the sky. Their energies move in a well-balanced cyclical relationship, causing together all growth on earth. By mostly focusing on the sun, however, our awareness gets separated and we are forgetting that it is the change of day and night, sun and moon, male and female energies, which actually makes the magic of growth happen on planet earth. This Slovak fairy tale serves as a cute little reminder of this fact.
Copyright Andrea Hofman, Fribourg, Switzerland, 2019