Beginnings and Endings

3 Jul

All the major religions of the world have their creation stories, the myths that try to answer unanswerable questions: Where did we come from? How did all of this begin? Who or what is responsible for the reality that I know?

The surprising and intriguing truth is that through many of those varied creation stories, there run similar threads. And these threads hint at several conclusions, one of which is that life, not just human life, but all of it, is linked in ways we cannot grasp. There seems to be a commonality that runs deep in our beings, something that links us back to a beginning. I find that, for instance, in the lovely stories of creation in our Native American heritage, particularly in the Zuni traditions.

The earth is our Mother, the sky our Father. Our Mother gives birth to us; our Father creates light in the dark recesses, hovers over the primordial waters, sets the stars in their places, and brings to being the seed-corn that sustains life. In the legend, Sky-Father says to Earth-Mother: “Even so. Yet I will be helpful to our children” and he spreads out his hand, palm downward. Then into the wrinkles of his hand he sets the semblance of shining yellow corn-grains. “See”, he declares, “our children shall be guided by these…guided by lights. So Sky-Father created the stars.”

I find it interesting that in one of the creation stories in the Christian faith, human kind is made from the earth. A handful of earth becomes a living being. Earth-Mother again. Earth giving life. The earth, from which we come, and to which we return in sacred burial ceremonies. The earth is our life…in more ways than one. Without the earth we do not exist.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all of us could realize the beautiful truths in the metaphors of our beginning? And wouldn’t it be wise if all of us could grasp the urgency of caring for our Mother, who even now tries to sustain her offspring as she suffers through the actions of her children?

It is a crime of arrogant brutality and unthinkable stupidity to murder our Mother.

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