A Small, Strange and Twisted Plant
A Keynosian Fairytale
Before the time of walking, crawling or swimming life, the green of the Earth Mother ruled the land. The First Born, as they called themselves, grew tall and powerful and strove daily to reach Father Sky. Stretching their branches wide, they were greedy for his light and praise. Only the strongest received the largest quantity of his free given blessings, to which they loathed to share it with their sisters. “Yes you are young and we are already strong, but these gifts must be earned! If we allow Father's blessings to be easily received by all, how would you learn to appreciate his love?” And it was so, that all growing life must earn their blessings from Father. But, the truth is, they loved their long life and great size. They did not want to risk their standings as the great providers of Father's light.
The roots of the first born also burrowed deep into Mother Earth, feeding from her warm brown flesh all they needed for their own strength and security. Again, the strongest drank the most of the mother and shared nothing. “Children, you must earn your nourishment from Mother! Maybe one day, you will grow as we and have many seedlings as well. Do not fret what is, only fight to be what you wish to become.” Again, their words were not rooted in truth, but fear that these seedlings would eventually take what they saw as belonging to the strong.
Under this law, each subsequent generations did as the First Born taught. They harvested all they could from Earth Mother and Father Sky with the hope for life everlasting, great power and power over those below them. Sadly, the youngest of these always struggled to match their elder sisters and were always one step behind.
As it goes, each year, at the beginning of the rainy season, the First Born would announced the time for celebration. Of course, this celebration was mostly to satisfy their own competitive desires, but they often encouraged their sisters to work hard for the promise that they would one day reach the stature they've attained.
The rainy season marked the end of Winter's chill and the beginning of a new cycle of. As the rainy season progressed, all life on the planet would display their wonderful blossoms to Father Sky. This was the celebration. But the blooms were always fleeting and eventually Mother Earth would take the fallen blooms into her bosom to reclaim that which is hers.
The First Born, as in each time of celebration, would stretch out their vast limbs and show the sky their many hundreds of blooms. They would beseech Father for his blessings and pray the Earth Mother would accept their seedlings as fit for growth. “Soon, you will be seen. Just continue to work hard and one day, you will be as great as we,” they would call to the youngest of their sisters hidden beneath their vast foliage.
On year, a small, strange and twisted plant did not accept the way of things. “I will garner Father's sight and Mother's approval,” she whispered to herself. Sadly, due to her size, she knew she could only produce a few buds from what she could scrape together. Her buds were often drab and uninspired, and her blooms were largely ignored by all. “I will not be ignored again,” she promised herself, smelling the coming rains, preparing herself for what will be her time to shine.
Determined and resolute, the small, strange and twisted plant absorbed the little bounty she could gather from Father Sky and Mother Earth. But as she struggled, so did her elder sisters. They gobbled up as much blessings they could in an effort to outdo those of the same rank and hopefully even the First Born. Even with the little she could garner, the small, strange and twisted plant, it's roots barely reaching a few feet down, hidden in the shadows below it tall and powerful sisters, poured what little meager gifts she was able to receive into a single tiny bud. Day after day she filled the bud with all she was able to gather. But it was not enough. Desperate, she choose a different path... she gave of herself. Her singular bud, resting at her crown, grew wide and heavy as she strained to fill it with all of her love and light. The offering took its toll on her.
With only days remaining, her sisters of the same stature began to take notice of her fragile state. They feared her fall into Mother's welcoming. They watched her put forth even greater effort as they asked her to renounce this folly. “Release the bud to Mother!” they beseeched, as each passing day the toll of this single endeavor cost the small, strange and twisted plant more and more. But it was too late. The small, strange and twisted plant dearly loved her now soon to blossom child and could not give any less than her all.
Finally, on the day of the celebration, the sisters forgot about their small sibling as they often do during the celebration. “She is not fit for greatness,” is all they said about those that fell before her. Now, they say this of her. So, as the celebration began, each sister would in turn reveal their beautiful flowers. They boasted, comparing their vast number of creations and celebrated the beauty they created.
Unlike previous years, the small, strange and twisted plant did not call out. She did not beg Father to acknowledge her. She did not have to. It was Father Sky who took sight of the small, strange and twisted plant. Looking pass all others, First Born included, he pleaded for her to reveal the bloom that threatened her life. “What could she have been working on with such will?” All of creation asked. “What would, could possibly be so worthwhile of single bud?”
As they looked on, their little sister, unable to contain her child's great love and light, shed her protective leaves to reveal a flower of extraordinary beauty! All who witnessed the bloom wept with joy! Mother Earth shook upwards in its attempt to touch it. The sky strained down, desiring to caress its petals. Mother and Father praised her continuously day after day for blessing them with such a single exquisite bloom.
“What a wondrous sight to behold!” Father Sky exclaimed each day it visited the small strange plant.
“You are indeed worthy!” Mother called to her.
As with all blooms, the petals of her most precious gift eventually began to wither and fall to Mother. Its soft petals glided down resting on Mother's bosom, to which they returned into her womb.
Her sisters, now desiring to produce a flower to rival hers, begged her to teach them what she'd mastered. The small, strange and twisted plant was exceedingly tired, and winter was fast approaching, she could not survive its power after giving so much of herself to her child.
As the autumn winds stripped off her leaves, the tiny sister gathered the last of her strength to speak. This time, all her sisters, desiring her beauty listened. “My child, my love, my bliss was fleeting and now, I am as well. This is the price for such a life. Years before, I wished to be like you. It was something I wanted with all my heart. But that was not to be. That was not me. So, while you my sisters sought longevity, I sought fulfillment and joy in my single creation.”
Struggling through her rasped breath, the small, strange and twisted plant continued. “What you did not see while marveling at my glorious child, was the seeds Father carried by the winds to parts unknown. You did not notice the earth that nourishes us, happily accept my children within its warm, loving embrace. You my sisters have filled your lives with the thoughts of toil, competition and security and nothing more. So please sisters, do not weep for my passing or dread giving up so much to achieve what I have. I chose this fleeting life and accept my rejoining with Mother. All I ask of you is to rejoice in your knowing of me, your small, strange, twisted, but beautiful sister. Remember the joy I have brought to you in this, my final season. I accept my end with a full and happy heart.” And with that, she rejoined.
It's said that she is the mother of all that swims, crawls and walks.
We are all her children.