Sunday, January 2, 2011

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, lived a girl.

She was marvelous: wise, beautiful, and talented. The wind sang, the water danced, and the earth bowed, all for her. All who saw her knew her to be flawless. The world belonged to her.

Yet, she was not happy. Though she had all she could have wanted, her soul longed for something--something she could not describe or understand. Her world could not satisfy the desire in her soul, the hollow emptiness born of the half-remembered echoes of a song she had never heard, a dance she had never learned, a land she had never seen.

So the girl searched. Leaving behind her home, she traveled her world, asking where she could find the cure to the aching thirst in her spirit. The journey was long and painful, and with each passing day her hope of finding the thing to fill her yearning grew more dim, for no one could tell her where to find what she needed. Yet, desperate to fill her soul, she continued, walking all the way to the end of the horizon.

When she finally stopped at the edge of her land, where all was dark and veiled with clouds, she still had not found what she ached for, but she could go on no longer. Her strength spent, she fell to the ground and wept.

For days, perhaps, she stayed there--or, perhaps, only moments. Her sadness was so great that every second was an eternity spent grieving for the emptiness she would never fill and for the life she had left behind.

After a time, she could cry no more, and looked up. Beside her knelt a man. It was impossible to say how long he'd been there; all she could see was that he was crying, too.

"I've found you," he said, smiling through tears. "After all your searching, it was I who found you."

"Then why did I search?" she cried. "Why did I leave my home, when all along you would find me anyway?"

He took her hand, and she felt her spirit lift. "Stand, darling, and I will show you. Your journey has made you strong, my love, and those in my Kingdom must be strong."

"Why?" asked the girl.

"Because," said the King, "in my Kingdom, we are always dancing."

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