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The Next Generation

By Marc Chametzky
(Written for Ecclasia)

This time, it started with a single teardrop. In prior times, it might have started with a cataclysmic event or a war, but this time it was just one tear.

“What is it, Mother?” asked a young man, perhaps in his late twenties or early thirties. His hair, the color of bright straw shining in the sun, moved gently from some unseen breeze. His body showed him to be a man of great fortitude, but his face told a different story, one of compassion and understanding. He looked at the woman across from him who was still gazing at her black mirror.

The woman looked up for a moment at her son and studied his face as she always did when she was concerning herself with great matters. Perhaps it was the gentleness of his features, or just the warmth that seemed to radiate from him, but she always found comfort in his eyes.

It’s the same as yesterday and probably just as it will be tomorrow. They’ve forgotten about my gifts to them. They never seem to learn just how important those gifts are. They concern themselves with material satisfaction and disregard what really matters.”

He watched her expressionless face and understood exactly what she meant. It wasn’t a surprise to him as he had seen it coming for so long now. Just as before, the people had become all too self-concerned and had forgotten about his and his mother’s place in their lives.

It’s not that his mother was demanding of constant attention from the people below, but she did ask that they learn to appreciate what she had given them: life, love, and the most important gift of all, a piece of her very being, the ability to create life. The first two had been squandered long ago, being replaced over time with an ever-growing feeling of apathy. What bothered her most was that her greatest gift to these people, the gift of creation, had been taken for granted.

"I created this world so that I could share my love with so many others, and once again, they’ve forgotten that I exist. Am I so unimportant to them, their own mother?”

The son, trying to be consoling, said, “It’s not that you’re unimportant, it’s just that you made a very curious world, and these are very curious people. They’ve become so enwrapped in the physical world around them that they fail to see the rest of the big picture. In the early days, the people believed that you moved the moon around the earth and that I took the sun for its daily journeys across the sky. They did not know of solar systems, galaxies, and planetary orbits. Now that they’ve discovered all this science, they believe that everything is science and we’re no longer a part of the puzzles that they achieve to understand.”

“Thank you for trying, Son, but it doesn’t change the reality. I have a few billion people on this planet that have forgotten how important it is to love and care for everyone around them. They show this every day by the multitudes of others that they kill. They think not for the other animals, trees, or even the earth itself and have achieved a level of self-importance that astonishes even me. This is not how I raised my children to be and it cannot continue.”

He reached over and held her hand. He knew what this meant as he had seen it several times before. She was not vengeful; she had nothing against any of the people in particular. She would not destroy what had been created, as she was too merciful for that.

Her solution was simple. She would take back the one gift that they had left: the gift of creation.

As time passed, mankind entered a period of population decline, unheard of in all history. The animals, too, suffered similarly, with animals that normally have litters of seven or more offspring now having just one or two. Even the plant life suffered with fewer and fewer crops flowering and seeding. It wasn’t long, at least not in terms that the Mother and her son perceive, before all life had completely died away.

She watched the whole course of her decision through her black mirror. Now that everything was lifeless, she looked up at her son and he saw that there were more tears on her face. Of all things that he strove to understand about the great worlds of life, death, and ether, the one thing he could never understand was what it was to lose one’s children. It wasn’t his place to bring forth new life, so he was spared the pain of losing that life. She had just lost all that she had created and that was unfathomable to him.

She looked back into the black mirror and the tears began to fall from her face onto the mirror.

As each tear splashed on the shiny surface, he could see great rains fall onto the earth. The parched ground soaked in the tears of the Mother, and the oceans began to swell and surge toward the land. As the swells grew larger, the waters from the ocean reached their cleansing fingers out over the land and pulled back all that was dead to the depths of the seas.

And the land was left bare, and the oceans retreated.

The Mother looked up, wiped away the tears from her face, and said to her son, “We shall start again.”

He leaned forward and looked deep into the black mirror. He looked very closely and saw, deep in the oceans, the very beginnings of life and on the land, faint signs of green started to show as the golden sun rose on this, the first day of the world’s new life.


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This page last updated April 25, 2005