Friday, March 24, 2017

How the Moon Came to Be

Once, long ago, there was no moon in the sky.  Only stars.  Of course this happened long before there were dinosaurs or fishes or plants, so no one knows this but me. And now you.

There was no moon and only stars.  Among the stars was the tiniest of tiny stars.  It was so tiny that if you were to look up at it, you would barely see a twinkle.  Perhaps a little flash and you would wonder, is there a star there.  But you wouldn't be certain.  Then you would move on to looking at the other stars, the bigger ones you could see.

Of course, as always happens to the smallest and weakest beings, the other stars teased the tiny star.  They laughed and made fun of its tiny rays of light and no matter how hard it pushed its little furnaces, the light never got stronger.  Finally the tiny star began to cry and this made the other stars laugh even harder.

The star wanted to die and made a wish, "I wish I were a big star.  Bigger than all the other stars in the universe."

It so happened that the universe heard the star's wish and felt pity on it.  It asked the star, "Alright. What are you going to do about it?"

The star was astounded.  It had never thought that there was anything it could do about it but endure the taunts and torments and suffer being little.  But the universe whispered a secret.  This secret, as we now know it, is called gravity, but gravity worked a little different back then.  You had to decide to be heavy before you could be so.  The little star decided, and heavier it got.  And the more heavy it got the more things got pulled into its orbit, and then into itself.

First there were its planets and comets and asteroids.  Then great clouds of hydrogen came barreling in.  Dark matter and light matter and all kinds of matter fell into the little star's orbit and then boom, was sucked into the star itself.  And the star grew bigger.  It sucked in asteroids by the millions and planets by the thousands.  It sucked in entire nebulae.  And it grew bigger and bigger, until it was the size of the moon.

And then the star stopped.  It was the brightest and biggest thing in the sky and that was enough.  It had no need to continue now that it had its wish.  This was very wise of the star.  But along with wisdom, the star also had vengeance in its heart.  Honestly, who could blame it.  Haven't we all wished to bring torment on the ones who tormented us?

So the star began to laugh at those who had once laughed at it.  And it purposely shone so bright that the light of all the other stars could not be seen at all.  It shown and shown and shown and never stopped shining until it was competing with the sun herself for brightest in the sky.

This could not be allowed.  And the universe came to the star again and said so.  It told the star it was very proud of all the star had become.  But that perhaps it might like to be a little more subdued and allow others to shine as well.  The star got angry at this and told the universe it had no right to push itself on the star.  The star had made itself with no help from the universe and it would do what it wanted.

The universe laughed at this, because the universe is very wise and does not get angry easily.  It told the star, "And who made the things that helped you grow big, if not me?"

But the star, high on its own brightness and hubris, did not care.  "I did the work. Me! No one else. You can't pretend I took anything from you."

The universe was still smiling. "I'm not pretending," it said.

Finally in a fit of beligerance the star said to the universe, "What are you going to do about it?" Meaning that it didn't think the universe could threaten it.  Silly star. Just like that the universe blinked and the star was back to its old self again.  Small and hard to see.

And that was how the universe left things for awhile.  The star, realizing its mistake, cried and cried.  And the other stars, were worse to it than ever.  This could not be allowed either.  The universe felt it had to do something.  It gave the little star back all its size and brightness, but only for awhile each month.  Every month it becomes the biggest and brightest in the night sky and then retreats down to its little form.  One way to shine as bright as it can and the other to remember how truly little one can be.

The star is now called the moon and we say it waxes and wanes.  But it is really a wise little star who has been ridiculed and ridiculed in turn and learned when to shine and when to wane.  And no star makes fun of another anymore.  The little star doesn't allow that shit.

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