A folktale from the Azores tells how there was once a Girl of Oranges who lived a solitary and lonely life in a world full of sorrow and dreams. You see there was once a time when she had been in love with a handsome prince. They had loved each other with all their hearts and had believed they had been made for each other and were full of happiness and hope for their future together. Sadly he was taken from her by unfortunate circumstances beyond either his or her control and although life went on for the Girl of Oranges it was never as it had once been.
This had a devastating effect on her and she came to believe that she could never love again. She looked around and saw lovers walking and holding hands, getting married and raising children and she worried about being on her own for the rest of her life. It seemed to her the door to happiness had been forever slammed shut and she became anxious and depressed.
She dreamed many dreams and in those dreams created many wonderful scenes of love and came to live in a fantasy world but she could not escape the real world. The strange thing was that the real world she imagined became gray and sad but the beautiful world she dreamed in her dream world never materialized and hope began to fade in her heart.
All around her, she saw many open doors that led into magical realms and many people entered these realms and were happy but as soon as she even thought about entering they were slammed shut. Despair and despondency fell upon her and she sank into a dark and lonely place keeping herself alive purely by her dreams but she came to no longer believe in love.
Seeing her sadness the gods came to her in one of her dreams and suggested that she go to the oracle to ask her for advice. She thought that she had nothing to lose and so went to see the oracle seeking her aid. The oracle was a kindly old woman who had been born with the gift of foresight which she used to help the people.
The girl talked to the oracle about her problem. The oracle listened to what the girl said and was greatly touched. She offered her all her sympathy and tenderness and by counseling her wisely and cleverly she succeeded in lifting the spirits of the girl. Indeed she took her to another place that was beautiful beyond compare and full of light. In this place the Girl of Oranges was reborn and she was able to begin to recreate her life again like a beautiful work of art.
The Girl of Oranges looked again at all the doors that had slammed shut and realized that none of those doors had locks and that when she approached one it would open up on its own, or only needed a push. With this discovery, she began to open the doors and explored the paths beyond and found new and magical places she had never heard of or dreamed about.
One day she opened a door and walked down a narrow path between beautiful flowers and amazing trees and to her wonder she saw lying in the middle of the path a big beautiful orange covered all in gold. The girl was astounded and ran to the golden orange and excitedly looked at it admiring its beauty. She looked around but could not find the orangery that it had come from so she went back to the oracle to asked her advice. The oracle told her that there was a magical and wonderful orangery that the golden orange had come from and that it was a long way down the path from where she had found it.
So she went back through the door and down the path carrying the golden orange in her hand. She walked and walked and walked along that path and eventually she found the wonderful orangery. When she found it she discovered that she was suddenly free and knew she was safe. Looking at the golden orange she carried in her hand she saw that it glowed gently and emitted a glorious light. In that light, she saw the face of her beloved and his lips whispered,
© 30/08/2016 zteve t evans
References and Attributions
Copyright August 30th, 2016 zteve t evans
- Legend of the Girl of the Oranges (Azores) From Wikipedia
- History of the Azores – Wikipedia
- Pixabay – pixel2013 – CC0 Public Domain