Mother Nature

A scientist peered into our Universe under a microscope, and concluded her experiment had failed: it appeared as if no life could exist in a Universe so dark, so cold, so empty. She fixed the lid on the Universe-encapsulating Petri dish and stuck on a piece of tape labeled, “Attempt 137.42.C: Failed.” As soon as she lifted herself off her chair, a single pixel of light shed through the piece of tape and projected itself on the other corner of the room. The scientist, holding her breathe, carefully extracted the piece of tape off the Petri dish and gleefully marveled at our Universe’s first star. Then, shortly thereafter, another star formed. Then another. A Universe full of stars! And expanding too; the Universe started spilling out of the Petri dish and splashed on to the tiles of her make-shift laboratory. Being the last scientist on her own Universe, she didn’t panic. She watched anxiously nearby the door, hoping for her Universe to mature and grow into size. Bang! The first star had expended all of its resources, underwent implosion, and unleashed its enriched guts into the ever-expanding Universe. Gravity had won the tug of war against the star’s nuclear fusion processes, collapsing the star into a single point. Wow, she whispered out loud. Her Universe’s first black hole. Stars circled around this black hole. Bang! Another black hole. Many more orbits took place. Bang! Bang! Bang! She could hardly take all the noise; she shut the door behind her and sat patiently. She glanced at the clock. Tick tock went the clock.

The scientist woke up. The clock indicated that hours had passed. She quickly opened the door and the Universe reached out and engulfed her. She wasn’t afraid; she wanted this to happen. The scientist took center stage in her creation. Her creation would dissolve her body eventually, but she was sure this Universe was the one. This Universe would yield intelligent life. She just knew. There! Right there. A pale blue dot. Water! She migrated over to the pale blue dot and saw thousands of decapitated humans twitching on the ground, rivers of blood. She intervened.

Scientist: What are you doing?
Humans: They started it! They crucified Jesus! He who died for our sins. Please, don’t hurt us!
Scientist: Stop. Listen to what I have to say. Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements – the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution and for life – weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way for them to get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. The stars died so that you could be here today. I know you’ve been left stranded on this speck of a rocky planet in this strange and vast Universe, and I apologize the stars couldn’t have made this place a warmer, brighter paradise, but the stars love you. The Universe is expanding, faster than you could imagine, and one day, the acceleration of the Universe will leave the night sky completely dark. Millions and billions years from now, fellow people will conclude the Universe is without astronomical poetry, and you have the privileged to write about it, talk about it, paint about it, so they know who died for them. Cherish the stars while you have them now, and live to leave footsteps you’re proud of.
Humans: Are you a star?
Scientist: No, I am nobody important. I must go now, I’ve already done too much.
Humans: Can we at least know your name?
Scientist: You can call me, Mother Nature.

So the humans worshiped Mother Nature. They constructed temples, monasteries, and cathedrals. They honored every Sunday under her name. They wore a star around their necks. And Mother Nature wept. She planted a tree in the most beautiful garden she could find on Earth. On this tree laid the most delicious apple she could concoct, and she waited, painfully, as her body slowly withered away. Soon, she had her first visitor, and just as he was about to grab the apple, Mother Nature intervened.

Mother Nature: I am an all powerful creator! I forbid you to eat that apple.

The visitor ran away in fear. Mother Nature waited. Painfully.

A man was fleeing the south. Lost, alone, shivering and scared, he went on his knees and prayed for a miracle. He thought to himself, why am I doing this? This is so foolish. Nevertheless, he gazed up at the heavens, and seven stars gleamed. He gasped. He followed the stars. At a nervous walk, at first, but then into a full, leaping gallop. In all his years eying the night sky, he had never seen stars so bright. He stopped for a moment. His heart pounded. The man reflected upon his miracle. He must name the stars, he thought. He looked at the stars again, and called them: the Big Dipper. The Big Dipper led him to the apple tree.

Mother Nature: I am an all powerful creator! I forbid you to eat that apple.
Man: Why?

Mother Nature nodded her head and left. The man, off-put by what he had experienced, concluded he had hallucinated the event and sunk his teeth into the apple, gashing off a large piece. In that apple, laid all of the creator’s knowledge about her own creation. The newly-inspired scientist published books, held lectures, and became mankind’s most influential man. During an interview, the scientist was asked how he obtained all his knowledge. He responded: I have the stars to guide me. I have always had the stars to guide me. The stars live through me, and I live because of the stars. And so mankind worshiped the stars. They built telescopes, rocket ships, and spacecrafts. They honored every Sunday by examining a new constellation. They wore a star around their necks. And as Mother Nature gulped her last breath, her seven tear drops twinkled, brighter than ever before.


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