There is a tree, somewhere… I lost it long ago.
But I hope to find it, someday.
If you see that garden, with that tree of mine…
Please, bring me back a piece of home,
And think of me, then.
In the beginning, there was the World. And the world was a Tree. And the tree became Flesh, and walked with Dirt.
It is an old story. Repeated often, by many, and understood by none. It is a story born in the hearts of all people. It is who we are. It is our purpose. It is the story of thirst, uncertainty… of life.
It is the only story ever told. It has been seen and heard in many forms.
There are many layers to this story, and though it may take a lifetime, if not more, I will not cease in the telling. This is my attempt at telling this story; though there have been many before me, and will doubtless be many after, this is mine.
This is not a love story. This is not a horror story. It is neither true nor is it fiction. It is not a happy story, and yet it is rarely ever sad.
This is The Story. This description may seem silly, or proud. I am sorry for that. However, it is the only description that will ever truly fit. There have been many names, and forms of this story.
Mine, I have called The Alone World Story.
It may seem like a strange title but, in truth, it is not mine. Someone, a long time ago, gave it to me. I do not know if it was in jest, or if they were truly being kind. But this title is the only one I have, and this story, though it may seem like several to you…
It is only one.
This is my only story. This is all I am, and I hope someday to read this, and understand my own words. This is my legacy. This is what I will always do, even after I am gone.
It is all I have ever known.
I was born with these words and I will probably spend longer than my life trying to express them.
This is about a tree. A tree that was lost long ago. There are many legends about this tree. Some tell of a tree that became flesh, and walked the Earth disguised as a person, just like you or me.
This is the story of that tree. First, though, I would like to make this very clear—This is my story, not those of legend. This is my version, and not theirs. You will find those sorts of tales here, but please do not let that deter you.
Please, keep listening.
Do not turn your ears away.
I hope you understand,
This story was made for you.
Where do trees come from?
It is a silly question, I know, but I must start somewhere…
This story begins in a Garden. This garden had many trees. However, this story is only about the tree in the farthest reaches of the garden. The tree that is now, as legends tell it, guarded by fire and winged beasts, armed with ancient, blessed swords.
The garden is hidden now from the path of Man, but as the stories tell, there was once a time when our ancestors roamed freely there. A time when Man could still sit down and close his eyes. When he could rest under the great shadow bestowed by the tree’s long branches, and abundant growth.
This did not last long. Man was thrown out of this blessed place, and as the legends claim forced to walk the Earth without rest or cessation of pain and grief.
However, that is not where I plan to start my tale, though it may eventually lead there.
For this story, I am going to start at the beginning—the First Day.
I have always been fascinated, maybe far too much, with the concept of Light and Darkness. What is the Darkness without Light? Does it make sense to ask such a question? Maybe not, but there it is just the same.
Darkness has no meaning without Light, and Light means nothing without Darkness. Which came first? A good question, but one that will never have a real answer. It is like the chicken and the egg. Why ask, other than to shed light on the person giving the answer? Does it even matter which came first? Probably not. But even if it did, that is not the point. I have no interest in that question.
My interest lies in the fundamental truths of Darkness and Light. The old stories about this Tree are filled with views on the subject. Views, I feel I have at least a mild disagreement. Therefore, I feel obliged to state my ideas first, though they may be very juvenile, and of little worth.
My views are quite simple. I do not understand how Darkness could exist without Light, or vice versa. In fact, I do not think it is possible. Is there any meaning to Darkness, without thinking of Light? If you do not first think of Light, then how do you define the lack of it? If you do not understand Darkness, how can you appreciate it’s absence?
As the legends tell it, before all things were made and the Light had yet to bless the Earth, there was nothing but Darkness. This was the period before and after Time. This was what the world was before Man, and his necessities came into play.
This was the Cosmos.
There was not a single star. There was not yet a sun. But there was no one there to know the difference. Man was not born before, but after the invention of Light. This Darkness was accompanied by perhaps the longest Silence. The Silence, though, was broken by the presence of a powerful entity, in this particular story its name is Father. He was not alone even then, however. For with Father, were the winged First Borne, his first children, and his eternal servants.
On that First Day, Father opened His eyes for the First Time and saw that it was Dark. So, he turned on the Light. This was the First Sunrise, and the First Morning, soon followed. Apparently, Father was a fan of the Daylight, as he declared this Light ‘good’.
I have always found this idea of Father discovering Light on the First Day slightly odd. His First Borne were made not in his ‘likeness’ or ‘image’, as Man was. The winged beasts were made and cursed with the soul of the Father.
Father is the Light, this legend claims. So, how did Light not yet exist?
Yes, yes… I know I am tearing apart another’s story, even after promising to tell you only mine.
But this is how my story starts, through contemplation of another’s…
And then, the Story of this Tree will be told.
The questions I ask may seem simple in nature, but that is simply because I have never understood this story. This story is to many one worthy of worship, though I have never understood why. I, instead, will tell the story properly, my way.
This story is a philosophical treatise; it is a long fable consisting of many smaller ones within it. A wise man walked with me, long ago, and taught me how to learn. Though I never understood the gravity of this story, I sometimes feel like it is one that I was born knowing.
Even now, when the legends have become so old, they may as well be ancient stories, with no grain of truth… There are places for Him (as I shall sometimes refer to the Father). Though the people who first believed in this story still remain, there have been many splinters within this Faith. And even these First men branched off from another, but that is a story yet to come.
This story will be written from memory, I shall not reach for a reference, not even once. It is a story that runs deep.
Remember how I spoke of many branches?
There may be other branches that have similar teachings, but this is the one I am attempting to relate now. If you learn from this story of other teachings and pursuits, then you have simply received more not less, and have been gifted with more Time.
This story, to me, is a mere legend, but a beautiful one worth retelling.
In the First Week of Creation, the Father, having created Light, looked around, and noticed it was Dark. The winged First-Borne were still there, as they had been before, and as they always will. Yet, He still felt lonely, and as the Light grew brighter it became more obvious to Him that He was Alone.
There are different versions of what exactly came next, I am only interested in telling you one.
In one, the Father created the Animals, and then Man and woman. Man was created in this version at the same time as woman. In the other, He created Man first. Man, like the Father, felt Alone, even though He, the Creator, was there to offer Friendship.
The Father took note of this, and created the creatures of the earth, both land and sea, hoping that Man would choose one Worthy, but he never did. Instead the Man remained lonely, and so the Father went away and thought for awhile.
When He returned, the Father found the Man asleep and stole a rib-bone from his side. (I never could remember if it was the Right or Left side…) He, then, used this bone to fashion the First woman, and breathed Life into her, as He did for Man.
Who was the Man and the Woman, and what happened to Them in the End?