Human beings ask questions. We look at the world and it’s full of mystery, and that deep human part of us – the part that shaped the way we grew in our mother’s womb, and that moved us to wave our arms and legs, crawl, stand, walk and talk – moves us to ask questions so that we can find some understanding. For little children it may not matter if the answers are “true” or not, only that somehow they make sense.
Very often stories about the origin of things begin as comparisons, or metaphors. There’s some big mysterious thing out or up there - clouds, for example, or earthquakes, or the sun - and we want to know how it came to be there, how it started. We may think of something that’s quite familiar in our lives and compare it to this big, mysterious thing. You might think that the stars, for example, are like sparks from a fire. So then you might ask yourself: “How did the sparks get from the fire into the sky?” And you might answer: “The wind blew them up there,” and you have a story:
One dark night a man was resting
on his long journey home
and he lit a big fire to keep warm
and to scare away the wild animals.
Then a great wind came
and blew thousands of sparks
into the dark sky
and they became stars.
The rainbow comes
from the angels’ workshop
once they left it open
and all the animals spilled everything
Seven different colors
curved into beauty
and everyone loved it