The Victoria Regia (Victoria amazonica), is the largest water lily on Earth. It can only be found growing wild in the Amazon rainforest. The lily has perfectly round leaves with an upturned edge. The lilies can grow to over 6 feet in diameter and can sustain the weight of a small sized animal like a rabbit. Its beautiful flowers are white or light pink with a slight of red on the outer edges.
For generations teenage girls would sit on the banks of the mighty Amazon River and sing. One evening some beautiful young girls met to sing and chat about a better life. They sat for hours staring at the moon and stars and dreaming of being one of them one day.
As the night went on the scent of the jungle and the intense light of the moon on the river drove some of the girls into a trance. The youngest girl was Naia and she was a perpetual dreamer. Naia decided to climb a tree to see if she could touch the moon. Of course she failed.
The very next day Naia and her friends decided to walk to the distant hills so they could climb them and maybe touch the moon. When they got there the moon was so high it was impossible to reach. They returned to their village exhausted, very dispointed and sad. The girls had the notion that if they could touch the moon or the stars they would be changed into them themselves.
Naia was not the giving up type so the next night she left home to try and fulfill her dream. She walked to an isolated part of the riverbank and stared at the moon which was now full. Naia again went into a trance and stared at the immense moon and its reflection on the river. Naia thought the moon had come to bathe in the river. Naia wanted so much to touch the moon she jumped into the river and was never seen again.
The moon, so overcome with guilt at the loss of such a young life transformed the young girl into a giant water lily with a beautiful fragrance and flowers that could cover the water to capture the rays of the moon.
So to this day Naia lives on in the Victoria Regia Giant Water Lily.
Victoria Regia Oil Painting with girl in canoe courtesy of Elke McDonald, Lima - Peru. www.elkeart.com, used by permission.
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