One day in the early times when Mother Nature had gathered her children about her for a harvest feast, a number of them had decided to create mischief. So they found her recipe box and hid it in some reeds along the river, giggling to themselves and wondering how long it would take for Mother Nature to discover that the box was missing. As it happened, it did not take long at all because she reached for it to make a spectacular rainbow, only to find that it was gone.
When she glared around at the gathering, she saw the children of Man giggling by the river, and she knew who had taken the box. But it was a holiday, a feast day, and everyone was in such high spirits that she could not be angry with these simple creatures. Instead, she good naturedly laughed with them and demanded her recipe box back, which they promptly gave her. Then she pulled out her recipe for rainbows and created one of such magnificence that it stretched all the way around the world, having no beginning and no end.
|First take some large rocks . . .|
All of the children clapped with glee at this, and one tiny daughter of Man came forward with a card that she had taken from the box. She was so very young that she did not realize what she had done was wrong, but the looks on the faces of everyone around her indicated that they did know. She walked toward Mother Nature and handed her the card and said, “This is your recipe for land,” whereupon Mother Nature snatched the card back instantly.
But the girl was so tiny that she could not remain angry for long. She only told her never to touch the cards again and then turned to walk away.
“But how do you make the land?” the little girl asked. Everyone immediately froze and stared in disbelief. But even more unbelievable was when Mother Nature sat down on a large rock across from the girl to tell her how to make land. Of course, none of them knew that because the girl had gotten the card and returned it of her own volition, Mother Nature had no choice but to respond.
“Land is a process,” Mother Nature said, “and it is always in the state of being made and being unmade.”
“But how is it made? In the beginning I mean. How is it done?” asked the girl. Everyone gathered around quietly because they realized that one of the Great Secrets was about to be revealed.
“First you start with a very large basin filled with lots of water, and into this you bring many large rocks to sit together and jut out from the water,” Mother Nature said. “Then you must wait for the water and the rocks to become friends, and this takes a long time.”
“Why does it take so long?”
“Because water is a fickle creature, as you know, and it demands a gift first in order to become friends.”
“And what is that gift?” the girl asked.
Mother Nature sighed. “It is the gift of itself. Tiny pieces of the rocks wear away into the water and become a part of it. When enough have worn away, the water repays the gift with friendship.”
“And then how is the land made?”
“Well,” Mother Nature said, “then the rocks and the water come to an agreement. The rocks promise to continue to give of themselves to the water, but only if they can continue to grow. The water agrees because if it does not, the rocks will eventually wear away to nothing, and then it will be all alone again.”
“And then?” asked a little boy who sat beside the girl.
“You are all nosey,” Mother Nature said, but sighed and went on. “Then the water brings some living things to the rocks and places them there. The water also asks the air to bring things of life to the rocks as well, and the air obliges because just as the rocks have given of themselves to the water, the water has given of itself to the air, and the air is obliged to the water.”
“So living things come to the rocks?”
“What do they eat?” asked the little girl.”
“Why, they eat each other, of course. All life feeds on life. That is one of the Great Laws.”
“But where does the land come from?”
“Well,” Mother Nature said, “then the living things make more living things, and some of the living things die. Then another of the Great Laws is enacted, and the living things dissolve and change form. And the cycle continues--living, eating, dying, and living again. And all the while, while the life is dissolving and changing, it is transmuting into land, which brings forth more life.”
“So the people and animals and the plants, they become the land?” asked the little boy.
“Yes, and the land becomes them and they keep trading back and forth.”
“So the land is the life and the life is the land?”
“Exactly! You are very smart, young man,” Mother Nature said, and she pat him gently on the head.
“But where does the first life come from?” the little girl asked.
Again, Mother Nature sighed. “You are full of questions, little one. The first life comes from the Great Alchemist.”
“Where does the Great Alchemist get it from?”
She sighed yet again. “It comes from the unmanifest.”
“It comes from nothing??” the little girl asked imperiously.
“No. It comes from before the nothing. Nothing is still something, because if you can talk about it and think about it, it is still something, even if you call it nothing. The first life comes from before the nothing. It comes from the field of all possibilities and all potentiality, and eventually, that is where all life will return.”
“So it is very hard to understand how the Great Alchemist makes the life from the unmanifest,” the little girl said.
“Actually, it is quite easy,” Mother Nature responded, “and it is done carelessly all the time.” She held out her hand and in it was a pile of tiny seeds. “These are dead,” she said, “but they are also not dead. When we add a little water, suddenly they will burst forth with life and growth. Where did the life come from?” she asked, pointing to a large sunflower. “That sunflower was certainly not inside this tiny seed. Where did it come from? It came from the unmanifest, from before the nothing. First it wasn’t there, and then suddenly it was there.”
“Will we ever meet the Great Alchemist?” the little girl asked.
“Indeed, you shall, but there is time enough for that in the future. And if I were you, I wouldn’t go searching, I would wait. Before you know it, you will meet the Great Alchemist face to face.”
The girl sat and just stared at Mother Nature for a long time.
“And now,” Mother Nature said, “I think you should all enjoy the rainbow I have made and the harvest feast and the big dance. And if any of you ever dare to touch my recipe box again, I will tan your hides so badly that you will beg to meet the Great Alchemist rather than attempt to ever sit on your bottoms again.”
They all stared wide-eyed at the Green Lady. Then she walked away without another word, but the little girl saw her stash the recipe box in a pouch under her large skirts, and she wondered what else was in the box.