In the first days, the Sun turned the light of his gaze upon the world; and he despaired, for it was bare and empty of beauty. And the Moon came upon him in the heavens, asking why he wept; but when he showed her the empty world that was his to warm, she did not share his despair. For though the world was empty, she told him, that meant only that it was ripe for whatever things they could create. They could make this world a thing of surpassing splendour, and it would be all the finer for their own craft upon it.

The Sun was amazed by the Moon’s wisdom and charmed by her beauty. If he could make one thing even half as fine and lovely, he declared, he could be satisfied with what he had wrought until the last days. And for his first offering, he sent to the world a spark of his essence, and there it prospered and the first fire was born, with a touch of the Sun’s heat and power but inspired by the Moon’s luminous beauty.

The Moon smiled, for the dancing flames, then as now, held a powerful allure. She begged the Sun’s indulgence, that he might turn his gaze from the world a time, so she could craft for him a surprise. Intrigued, he complied, beginning the first night, and the Moon worked through it.

When the Sun next looked upon the world, water was upon it, sparkling in his sight, shifting to the moods of the Moon; and the Sun was both enthralled and inspired, and set to work at once on his next offering. He asked of her no secrecy; and though at first the Moon turned away, seeking a surprise for herself, ultimately curiosity overcame her, and she looked upon the sun as he worked. So, to this day, while the Sun always turns away from the world at night, sometimes the Moon will appear in the day to look on his handiwork.

And as the Moon watched, the Sun stirred air into the motion of the first winds, taking up the bounty of the Moon’s water in one place, letting it fall as a glistening cascade of rain in another, and with a flourish he cast the first rainbow; and the Moon was much delighted, and honoured as well by the homage the Sun had paid to her own work.

Again she worked through the night, and when day returned, the land had risen, making places where rain could fall and bring moisture where otherwise there was none, but that was not all she had wrought; for in the deep places of the earth she had hidden some of the Sun’s fire. First the Sun saw volcanoes, mighty monuments of flame where fire and earth merged into something potent and awesome, yet more enduring than fire alone; but then he was delighted to find more secrets, lovely gems that held some of fire’s shine, yet were placid and gentle.

The Sun took the largest of these, a vast emerald, meaning to make of it a token of his esteem for her, but the jewel shattered under his gaze, and he was distraught. Yet where the shards fell, something new and wondrous took form, the first trees rooted in the earth, drinking in water, spread out before the wind to bask in the heat of sunlight; and green spread across the world.

And the Sun said to the Moon, “See this new thing, born of all our creations together, and see how remarkable our efforts together can be. Stay with me, that we might share in whatever other wonders arise.”

And the Moon accepted his invitation, and so the two started their endless dance about the world, now nearer, now farther, but never leaving it; and life spread and prospered, the greatest of all the things that came of their grand courtship.