In The Beginning


A clock, a mouse, the sun, an oak tree and a turkey vulture argue about the meaning of life.

     “To tell time,” says the clock

     “To grow,” says the oak tree.

     “Surviving,” squeaks the mouse.

     “Being a light,” the sun proclaims.

     There is a pause.

     “To reveal truth,” says the turkey vulture.

     I appear with a gentle whisper. I am Love. For where there is Truth, I AM. I have no

body, but the clock, mouse, sun, oak tree and turkey vulture feel me as a warm breeze.

     “How do you reveal truth?” I ask the vulture.

    “Through my flight,” the vulture answers, spreading out his mighty wings. “That is why

I fly. That is my purpose.”

     “A man has asked to know his purpose in life,” I say to the vulture. “You will help him.

Truth is the place to start his story.”

     The mouse twitches its nose and pipes up: “What about a lie? That’s interesting too.

Wasn’t Lucifer a liar? Every story needs a devil. I could be an instigator.”

     “What about the absence of time?” the clock asks. “How could there be a story without

time? Start the story with a clock. Listen.”

     The clock magnifies the sound of its ticking, the sound reverberating through the earth.

     When the sun doesn’t speak, I ask him if he feels he is needed in the story. The sun is

silent for so long that the mouse squirms and its whiskers quiver.

     “Am I not the centre of the universe?” the sun says, glowing as brightly as though it

was midday in the desert. “I’ll be there even if I am hidden by clouds or muted by

sunglasses. I will mark each day. Without me there would be no shadows.”

     “And you?” I ask the oak tree.

     “I am shelter. I am shade. And I know how to keep secrets,” the oak tree says, stirring

and rustling her leaves. “I murmur, but never reveal what anyone has told me. I can help

the man on his journey.”

     My presence intensifies and sounds like rushing waters.

     “This man is honestly full of lies,” I say. “I’ve chosen this sad and lonely man.”

     “Are the chosen without suffering?” asks the oak. “I remember the pain of nails being

hammered into my trunk.”

     “The chosen are filled with suffering,” answers the vulture, flapping his wings. “But

suffering is not wasted on them. They are purified in the fires of truth.”

     “Go,” I say to the bird. “Find the man. Be fearless. Remember: I AM always with you.”

      The vulture flies up and soars over dark forests to lead the way.