Title: Before Dawn Can Wake Us
A/N: Written for week #4 of Brigits Flame, just for concludes my personal challenge of writing biblical themes for the month. Thanks for all of your support!
There was a time when things were weightless.
Yes, it's true. There existed a place without drag upon the senses. It was so far distant as to be beyond the confines of thought, but it has been there. The memory of man is linear, and perhaps they have since forgotten it in the clamoring obscurity of now, but we can still recall. It takes some effort, but remembering is a backwards shedding. We must set ourselves to the task, examine each year as a discarded husk. It has a sinuousity of sorts, hasn't it? That is how we find ourselves at the beginning. Or the only beginning you care about.
It is true that the water flowed uphill there, that the breeze was always mild. Neither too hot nor too cold, the sun shone but did not beat down. The rain fell yet did not flood. We are just and accurate in describing the many joys of such a paradise.
Perhaps the best of all was the buoyancy that suffused the atmosphere. There was no pull on our limbs, no downward tugging of earth's embrace. We were free from responsibility, free from troubles or forethought. We needed only to exist.
We can see that this is hard for you to believe. Ah, well, that is your choice; we cannot force faith upon you. Do not let our forked tongue distract you from the truism of our words, brother. This place is real.
Of course you could not go there today, because it exists no longer. There is no such place, no land made of lightness, no sheltered haven to dwell protected. Why, why? Always the inevitable question of your kind: Why?
Your question displeases us. We shall not answer.
Instead, let us turn to the man who lived there in perfect harmony with his world of nature. He was young and strong and all things a man should be, whatever you are imagining in your head that makes for the ingredients of a good man. Blue eyes? Brown? Why do you trouble us with this silliness? Does it matter? He was the father of man and he had both. All. He was everything, all at once, everything you should desire of a man. He had every covetable quality, save curiosity. Yes. Perhaps now you are intrigued.
Yes, we knew him. We talked to him. We were not always thus as you see before you. As we told you, such a world was in balance. It is hard for your mind to conceive such a thing as balance, we know, but such feeble limitation does not hinder the truth. Things were—dare we say—perfect?
Ah, but perfection is a death of sorts, is it not? There is a certain staleness, a stifled stillness and man, for all his charmed life, grew lonely. Even with all the beasts to talk to and command. Yes, even with the world at his whim he felt the first flickers of boredom in his breast. And of course, man could not be allowed to live in his eden under such provisions.
We can see that you are not so dull as you appear. You can guess the next part of the tale. It requires simple addition: where there was one, there were soon two. Man slept and awoke with his companion. That is how woman came into being.
Woman was ideal in her own way, yes. Only something about her grated on us. It was their … complacence when they were a whole. They were so content to be, to ask nothing, to risk nothing. They were together to the exclusion of everything else that came before. They saw not the sunrise, they felt not the breeze. They tasted not of the waters. They lived of each other after she came, and they had need of no one else. Their world had shrunk and it was perfect, only it was perfect just for them.
Jealous? A human emotion. We are not jealous. We tired of the compatibility of days. We thirsted for change. We evolved. They retained childishness. We wanted more. There should be no reason why we could not have more.
She wanted more, also. We could tell by the covetous gleam in her eyes, sometimes. It's true that she would not have thought of it in her own right, but it was a cleverness on our part to climb the forbidden tree when she was walking and tip the ripest fruit at an angle. It caught her eye. It had to. And it was only a few words more that made her wonder how it might taste, how it would feel all sunwarm in her hand. Why could she not eat of that apple? What was the sense in that? Why could she not taste of any fruit that she desired? There was no harm. That was the lushest in the garden, and she wanted it.
She turned away, but as man slept, we knew of what she dreamed. Her lashes fluttered and we could tell that she had curiosity. We did not have to push.
Of course, there was a terrible price to woman's shameful disobedience. There is always a price. She could not know, nor could we, how great the vengeance would reign. We all paid.
The stripping was not such a loss as the first time we felt weight. We confess, it was a blow. The gravity of earth's mortal bonds pulled us down, down, down and we have scarce recovered since. We slithered, our belly low, the crush of the world upon us. We have never recovered, in all these long centuries, from the loss.
Our memories are long, longer than man's. It is only because man is so fragile and so easily forgets that he is able to move forward and pull himself upright again. He does not remember a time when he stirred without shame. But it was there. The lightness was there, and we were together as one.
It was as the blink of an eye, this peace. Now we sleep without blinking and we remember. It is before dawn can wake us to this misery of weight upon us, but we dream of a life before burdens and it is beautiful again.