There was no grand design. No all-powerful paranormal being calculating the “ifs” and “buts” of existence with pie charts and ledgers and a magic wand. It was through the destiny of random chaos and chance and proximity that the universe began sorting itself nearly fourteen billion years ago.
Like marbles rattling around in a shoebox, meteors and comets alike began a relentless assault on anything that crossed in their paths. Magnificent in the totality of creative collision. Some thrown into the path of further assault while others were cast into safer zones.
Billions of years passed. Planets were formed. Galaxies were created. Stars took their place in total darkness. Still, the assault continued in a destined obligation to fulfill an unspoken directive of creation through destruction.
One such meteor hurtled through space at over 100,000 mph, for billions of years unimpeded. For the sake of formality, we’ll call this Big Ass Meteor, BAM. Perhaps BAM was generated from a collision of its own mass and thus began it’s destined journey to fulfill a purpose.
At roughly 13,000 miles in circumference, BAM was as big as Mars but half-sized of Earth. It continued on its path mercilessly. From where did this implement of destiny derive? No one knows for sure. Where was its journey to end?
Where mine began, of course.
Approximately 4.5 billion years ago, BAM’s journey ended in a spectacular finish. It collided with an as-yet-unnamed and indistinguishable chunk of solar debris nearly twice its size. The resulting wreckage was an ironically resounding BAM! A substantial cloud of dust and stone encircled the debris that lasted for billions of years more.
The dissipation of wreckage is a slow process. As in life, there is darkness and a smothering of all endeavors. Hope is derived from the small cracks that let light seep through in silvery rays. Then the curtain rises and the dusks and dawns give separation to light and dark.
Earth, in its new form, was knocked into rotation around a sun that began breathing life into it. Three-hundred and sixty-five times the Earth will turn as it orbits the sun. Time is immaterial to the universe. Only man lives life in seconds, minutes, hours, days, and years.
A random impact four and a half billion years ago ripped me from Mother and has held me hostage in synchronized rotation ever since. Untethered, yet bound together in gravitational attraction. The irony of BAM will eventually be discovered.
As the darkness lifted, I could see Mother at a great distance. After billions of years in her breasts, I was mercilessly amputated and sent hurtling 239,000 miles away when BAM knocked on our door.
Even at such a great distance, I could see she had changed and begun her evolution towards a life-sustaining planet. The rich greens and blues developing before my eyes left no doubt that the dusky drab greys and blacks of my own surface were lifeless.
BAM sacrificed its life that day for Earth and her moon. His purpose fulfilled. Mine was yet to begin as royalty reigning over the night sky. If the Sun would be King and Mother the Queen, then surely, I would be a Prince.
Silent and lonely on my throne, I sat and watched endlessly. My light not my own, yet brighter in the night sky than the closest star thanks to my father’s benevolence. My own terra barren of life, but held in kinship to abundance from afar. Through chance and circumstance, life there and not here.
I’ve watched oceans rise and seas recede. Witnessed mountains form and valleys fill with forests and fauna. Behemoths walked the earth in majestic display and withered under my watch. The cycle of life and death conjoined by first and last breath.
Seas became land. Beasts became man and idols were made in search of answers. All the while, my reflected light bore silent homage to Mother’s evolution. The only thing asked of me was tides and time.
So I sit mute and reticent as I chaperone the night. Ever watching Mother as she sustains the life that escaped me. Yet, the life she gives turn their eyes to me and seek my secrets.
Like a treasure chest, I sit in plain sight filled with all of the wealth imagined by man. Only a few realize that the chest is empty and the only wealth is what they put inside it themselves.
Footprints of man have scarred my face. Others have been here too. Still, my dark side hides my truths, content to leave the glory of worship and poetry to my reflected persona. Lifeless but reflective, my false light but a façade.
Beasts howl and lovers entwine their lives in my light. Each harvest planted in my phases becomes a cornucopia of Mother’s bounty. Following an Almanac giving guidance from distant man, yet still faithful in its directives.
Man is still the great mystery after billions of years. To sit amongst roses and long for a barren moon defies credulous thought. Only man allows a heart to take rein over mind to create a world in which all things are possible.
My own heart is cold now. Cryo-formed by loneliness and abandoned intimacy. The tears of separation long since dried in a lunar crust in which life is impenetrable. Never invited to the party but enduring life vicariously through voyeuristic entitlement as if a potted plant.
My crusted surface, pockmarked by craters and ridges testifies to perseverance. Imperfect at first glance, the beauty is in one’s scars. For it is our scars that trumpet the truths of our lives. Surviving isn’t pretty.
Posing is my only pleasure as I slip in and out of each phase in artistic conception, going fully glamorous in eclipse. Tides and life in Mother’s breasts seeking each pose, not understanding why, but knowing it should be so.
There is connectivity in all things. What exists is brethren. The past is also the future. What happens now, in-between the past and the future determines destiny. Species have survived and evolved for centuries before withering away needlessly. Populations have ballooned from zero to over 7 billion without regard to resources. Concrete and steel have replaced forests and fauna. Software has turned life from an entire planet into a 15” screen.
Destruction and endangerment are man-made violations of universal laws which force Mother to respond. She will. I’ll say it again. Surviving isn’t pretty.
My exhausted countenance is a constant gnomon on a sundial. The rush of life on Earth is but sand crawling through the hourglass a grain at a time to the universe. There is no respite from what must be done. Fulfilling purpose is all there is.
So I watch. And wait. My reticence the result of disappointment and shame. My enthusiasm at first life dampened by my frustration at what that life has become. Even at my dimmest though, my light still gives hope to the few who aren’t blind to it.
Creation and evolution begun so long ago endlessly twisting and turning under moonlit skies. The dark of a hunter’s night lit before fires and lanterns. Predators and prey playing hide and seek. Lovers playing seek and hide. Life on Earth played out under a false-lit moon.
Time will pass as it must. The footprints of man on my face long since gone. The gravity of Mother’s arms still pulling me imperceptively closer each year. At some point, a billion years or so from now, Mother’s arms will have pulled me close enough and her immense hug will squeeze so hard I will disintegrate.
My purpose will have been fulfilled as her Prince overseeing time for billions of years in her night sky. She will give me a new purpose as the broken fragments of my once-self encircle her lovingly and form a Saturn-like ring in magnificent color and hue.
Father’s light will glisten upon me as if diamonds twinkling in an endless Borealis, giving Mother the wedding ring she has so longed for. Billions of years of engagement began and fulfilled by the random quest of BAM.
Philosophers and poets will contemplate the demise of the cryptic Prince. Lovers will find new icons to replace the old. They always do.
What will be the ramifications of moon to ring? What becomes of tides? When should corn be planted? Will gravity be the same? Only time will tell.
The more pressing question is what will become of humankind? From the first eyes of beasts and man that looked skyward to a universe of sun and moon and stars, it was the Prince who was closest and most accessible. It was I, the Prince of the night skies that ruled between dusk and dawn.
The moonless sky will be transformed and all life on Earth will feel the loneliness I once felt. There will be no more poses. No more eclipses. No more ballads or stanzas written to steal hearts. No more looking to the sky for inspiration. The Prince is no longer there.
But hey… what’s a billion years or two between friends?