Once upon a time, there was a girl who didn’t believe in miracles. She had incarnated on earth and was bored stiff. She felt there was nothing to do here. The Creator, let’s call him God, saw this and asked:
“But child, why are you so bored?”
“I am bored because there is nothing to do on earth”, the girl answered. “It is boring here.”
God said: “But don’t you see this earth is bursting with miracles? I especially made this planet to show off my many wonders! This earth is my master piece!”
God was pretty full of himself, but the girl was not impressed.
“Well, I ain’t seeing it”, she said.
“Hmm … I created you too,” God said thoughtfully, “but it seems as if I’ve overlooked something. Your senses should have made you capable of recognizing and appreciating these miracles, but apparently I haven’t fine tuned them enough or something, because they seem to fail. Do you really not see it?”
“Nope”, said the girl. “Nada.”
After some thinking, God made a decision.
“All right”, he said. “I will take you on a time travel journey. Come with me.”
Together they walked into the forest. God pointed out the trees to her. “Look!”, he said.
It was the very beginning of spring. The trees were just sprouting. God had accelerated time quite a lot, so the girl could see in a time span of minutes how fluorescent green leaves appeared on the trees and small buds appeared everywhere, unfolding into magnificent little pink flowers. God let her overlook a rolling hillside full of blossoming almond trees and said: “Look! Millions of little miracles. Every flower, every tree a miracle in itself. A miraculous hill.”
“Yeah, that’s pretty awesome”, the girl said.
“But smell!” God said. “Smell the divine scent of the almond blossom!”
The girl sniffed and said: “Yeah, that smells pretty good. But you know, you get used to it and after a while you don’t smell it anymore. And when you have seen those trees a few days in a row, then it is normal again. Then it is boring again.”
But God didn’t give up that easily. He had just begun! He took her three months further into their journey and showed her the trees in their full summer splendor, full of leaves in all shades of green.
“Look!” God said, with a broad arm gesture towards the forest, as if he owned the place. Well, in fact he did. “Look, what riches! Such beauty!”
He was clearly proud of his creation.
“Well, I don’t know”, the girl said. “Maybe I prefer spring over summer. This is all so … green. It’s all the same.”
God sighed and said: “Alright, maybe I should have fast forwarded to late summer, because that season is really cool, but I just wanted to show you this as well.”
Quickly he fast forwarded to late summer. Suddenly they stood in front of the gate of an enormous orchard in France. The gate was overgrown with blue grapes. He picked one and popped it in his mouth, savouring the taste. Then he picked another one and gave it to the girl.
“Taste!” he said. “Fruit! I must say, that is supposedly one of my best miracles, if I may say so, besides the nuts and the vegetables, of course. It guarantees that no man on earth will ever have to grow hungry.”
The girl put the grape in her mouth, chewed it and swallowed.
“I’m not particularly fond of grapes”, she said.
“Oh, but there is a lot more!” God said and took her into the orchard. There were apple trees, pear trees and orange trees of which the branches curved because of their many fruits. There were cherry trees full of shining, deep red cherries, and peaches, apricots and avocado’s.
“I’ll have a pear”, the girl said. God picked the biggest en juiciest pear and gave it to her.
Happily God danced through the orchard, while the girl walked next to him and ate the pear.
“Look here!” he said in an excited voice, and pointed towards the blackberry bushes, where fat, ripe blackberries flaunted on the branches.
“And here! I hid them a bit, I thought that was funny. Just like Easter”, God said and pointed towards the blueberries, growing under the trees.
“And here! Oh, what abundance”, God called out and pointed towards the many nut trees that almost crashed under their weight. Quickly he put a few sticks under the heaviest branches to support them, now that he was here. The trees bowed in reverence and God beamed with pleasure.
“Can we move on?” the girl asked. “I’m not hungry anymore.”
“But of course”, God replied cheerfully. He was certain the girl would become enthusiastic sooner or later. After all, he himself had created her.
God took her to the next season, autumn. Especially for her, he put on a show. He showed the autumn colors in all their splendor. The bright yellow, the dark yellow, the beige, the brown, the bright red and orange and the dark purple of the chestnut tree. He made it storm and rain and let the leaves swirl wildly through the air, the branches swish and the tree rustle. Then, when it all became silent, he let the sun rays shine upon the wet leaves. Vapor raised up from the trees and everything was shrouded in a golden light.
God thought: ‘Surely this must impress her.’
The girl had observed all this quietly and now said: “Well. Okay. Ehm. So. But I’m not a tree, am I? What’s the point of all this? Am I supposed to watch this all day long? That is boring! Sorry, but I still find everything boring.”
God let out a deep sigh. Slowly the time travel journey got to an end and together they slipped into winter. There they were, sitting under a bare black tree in a frozen, mute landscape with only shades of grey.
God was temporarily lost for options. He was thinking. What now? He asked the girl: “What do you consider a real miracle, then?”
“Well, I’m not quite sure”, the girl said. “But at least it has to concern me. It has to be about me.”
God thought and thought. Suddenly he looked up with a happy look on his face: “I have an idea!”
First they returned to early summer. It was fresh, green and comfortably warm. The forest was in full flowering and little birds darted around them. God put his hands around his mouth and uttered a primal cry, just like Tarzan. He had always wanted to do that himself one day. After a short while another human approached. It was a young man – the first man on earth. He was created slightly different from the girl, which immediately made her curious.
“Hmm …” she said and observed the man attentively. “He looks like me, but not quite. He has no breasts, his gaze is different and he has more hair. He looks gorgeous and strong. What is that between his legs?”
“That’s his penis”, God said proudly. “I created that especially for your pleasure – and his, of course.”
“Hmm … this is indeed interesting, God”, the girl said appreciative.
“But this is not all”, God said. “The biggest surprise is this: when you connect with this man, then a new you will grow inside your body. I built in a time accelerator in your belly, so evolution can take place from the beginning until now in you and you will be able to give birth to a new human.”
The girl was completely fascinated. She and her new man made love and she fell pregnant. New life grew in her, she could feel it. She could see her belly get bigger and after a while she could feel the child kick. Endorphins swiped waves of happy feelings through her body and she felt happier than ever. It was as if her love for life grew exponentially through the love for her baby. When the nine months had passed, she saw how a tiny little human appeared from her body. She was in awe.
“God, you have outdone yourself”, she said. “This I find indeed a miracle. Thank you.”
God was very pleased. “Look what else I’ve come up with. Put the child at your breast for a moment, please.”
She did and in utter surprise she saw how the child eagerly drank.
“In the beginning you can feed you child yourself”, he said proudly. “Isn’t that a miracle? And afterwards he will live in abundance, just like you, thanks to the food from the trees, the bushes, the plants and the roots. You will lack nothing.”
“Life on earth is pretty cool after all”, the girl said.
And God saw that it was good. He said goodbye to the girl and her family and returned to his heavenly home realms, on the other side of the galaxy. When he looked back a last time, he saw how the young mother and her man stood close to each other and watched him leave. The man had put his arm protectively around her waist and she was holding the child in her arms.
‘Such a pretty picture’, God thought.
He was extremely content with himself, proud that he had finally managed to bring the earthly human project to a happy end.
‘They will live happily ever after’, he thought to himself, once he was home, and laid down in the soft grass of the Garden of Eden.
When he woke up after a delightful nap, many centuries had passed on earth. Time on earth passes much slower than in Eden. He stretched his body, yawned and wondered how the descendants of the girl would be doing. How many lives would she have lived? That should have been a few thousand by now. Would she still be as happy as before, on his miracle planet, or happier?
He decided to take a look on earth and visit the girl. When he descended on earth he saw that everything had changed. He saw cities, highways, factories, cars, machines, black smoke, polluted rivers, cattle farms, fences and houses. He didn’t understand.
‘What the fuck happened?’ he thought. ‘What have they been up to now again? Where is the girl?’
He had a distinct feeling something was wrong, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. After a while he discovered the girl. She had locked herself up in one of those ugly houses that all looked the same. All windows and doors were closed.
‘No wonder I couldn’t find her straight away! Which person who is right in the head chooses to sit inside?’, he thought. He was rather annoyed, in fact.
A big noise came out of a huge flat screen that was hanging on the wall in the living room. It radiated gloomy, blue light that was continuously flickering. He saw the girl sitting in a chair, with her baby on her lap. She looked much more discontented than the time he had taken her on their time travel journey. She gave the child a bottle, while she was watching the flat screen and smoking a cigarette. She didn’t seem pleased with the child at all – or with anything, for that matter. Even worse, she hardly seemed to notice the kid. There was a cup of cold coffee on a little table next to her, together with an ashtray full of butts. Her once so lush hair and beautiful skin had become pallid. She looked exhausted and worn out. What had happened to his creation?
God coughed politely to announce his presence. As soon as the girl saw him she angrily put out her cigarette and lashed out to him: “God! Where have you been all this time?”
“Sorry”, God said sheepishly. “I fell asleep. How have you been in the past few years?”
“In the past few years?” the girl fumed. “In the past millennials, you mean!”
God shrugged his shoulders, feeling guilty. “I forgot about the time”, he said timidly.
The bottle had finished and the child started to cry. He had stomach cramps. The girl sighed and put him over her shoulder for a burp. Immediately he threw up on her back.
“Gross”, God said. ‘Is he sick?”
“No,” the girl said, “this is normal.”
“Well, I have to say, it’s not”, God said. “And I can know, because I’ve created the two of you. However, you were meant to breastfeed him, remember? No wonder your child vomits if you give him powdered cow milk. How can you think of something so stupid?”
The girl looked at him with such reproach in her eyes that it made him feel very uncomfortable. To have something to do, he threw the windows open. Maybe that would lessen the sour smell of vomit and cigarettes.
“Well, sorry If I came at an inconvenient time,” God gathered himself, “but why the hell are you sitting inside? And why you don’t breastfeed your child? And where is your man? Remember, our time travel journey together, after which I created the biggest miracle for you I could think of? I thought you’d be happy ever after, but something clearly went wrong. What did I overlook? Do you have any idea?”
The girl snapped at him: “Do you really think that popping out children and going out of your way to take care of them is the biggest miracle on earth? God, look around! This is terrible! My man is always out because he has to work to earn money to take care of this child, and otherwise he only wants to procreate, thanks to that penis you gave him. And because I already have a child, he rather does that with other women. You trapped us both!”
“But why on earth do you have to make money?” God asked. “Why, in heavens name?”
He was honestly surprised.
“I took care of everything before I left, didn’t I? Wasn’t there food in abundance? I even showed you the trees and the bushed myself! And you know about the plants and the herbs, didn’t you? And isn’t there more than enough shelter on earth? You can find all the materials to build anything you like! Why do you choose such an ugly concrete box to lock you and your family up in, while you can live in a tree hut? And I provided warmth through fire, which you can make in so many ways, and there is plenty of wool, cotton and hemp for clothes and blankets, and clean and healing water in the many sources, streams and rivers. And the animals were ready and eager to help you with everything. I took care of everything! What went wrong? What did you do?”
“Well, I should ask you!” the girl responded. “You are God, aren’t you?”
“Yes, but I made you in my image”, God said, slightly taken back. “Or at least, that’s what I thought. Jesus, can you turn off that TV? And that child? It gives me a headache!”
Then he remembered he was God, so he turned off the TV himself and let the child fall asleep on his mother’s lap. It slept straight away and suddenly looked peaceful.
“Well, at least you’re good at something”, the girl said in a cynical voice. “If only you could have done this a few thousand years earlier.”
God didn’t know what to say. There they were again, silently sitting down, just like a few thousand years ago. The girl empty and disillusioned, staring into the void with a new cigarette and him wondering what had gone wrong.
Eventually he said to the girl: “I think you misunderstood something very crucial and this is my fault. I didn’t explain it properly. I gave you the miracle of rebirth, but it wasn’t meant to be a task. It was a gift, something to enjoy! It was meant to go easy and smooth. I never intended you to get frightened and do all these crazy things to be safe, because you already were safe! There was more than enough of anything that you could possibly need. You pushed away the abundance of nature, out of ignorance and fear. You spoiled everything. You made everything artificial.”
“Yes,” the girl said, “and where were you?”
God took his face in his hands and sighed deeply. He thought to himself: ‘I should never have left her alone. I should have know that if she wasn’t even able to appreciate the trees and the seasons, her senses were indeed really flawed and her capacity to recognize the miracles of life were not as evolved as I expected. I overestimated my creation. I overestimated myself. Shit. I should have repaired her senses and capacity to wonder, instead of making up something completely new. Oh God, will I ever learn?”
Finally he said to the girl: “I am sorry that I made you plod along here by yourself all these centuries. From now on things will be different. I promise. I will make it up to you.”
He took the child from the mother and took a good look at it.
‘Well, that rebirth thing worked out pretty well, despite everything’, he thought. ‘It is still a beautiful child. I did that quite well, if I may think so.’
The child still smelled of vomit, but full of faith and with relief he looked into the eyes of his Creator. He hadn’t been happy in that flat on the third floor, with a lonely and depressed mother who didn’t want to breastfeed him, with a screaming TV that was always on, a dad who made it clear he didn’t want to be there in the spare moments he actually was home and where the only nature were the few branches he could see from the window every now and then, when the curtains were not closed and he was laying alone in his crib. Everything would be better now. He could feel it.
God turned to the girl and said: “My dear child, from now on you are free. I will take the child home with me, to the Garden of Eden. I will raise it as if it were my own child – well, in a way it is – and I will make sure that his senses will develop in such a way he will never miss the miraculous again, like what happened to you. You can come if you like, and you can learn this yourself too, but you can also stay here, on this planet of miracles, with your husband. The choice is yours. I have given you free will and I will never take that away from you.”
The girl started to softly cry. For the first time in ages he saw a glimpse of softness and beauty in her.
“I am so tired”, she said. “Can I come home?”
“But of course,” God said delighted, “I thought you’d never ask! Let’s wait until your man comes home and tell him what happened. Then he can decide as well whether he wants to come or whether he wants to stay here.”
And so it happened. When the man arrived home, the woman told him everything. He was overjoyed that he was no longer blamed for everything that went wrong and that apparently he had be right all this time, because how often hadn’t he yelled: “This is no life!”
Of course the man chose to come to the Garden of Eden as well. The woman took the baby in her arms, the man took the woman in his arms, God took the man in his arms and together they traveled home.
In the centuries that followed, peace returned on earth. Nature recovered and slowly but surely she became as abundant and miraculous as before. This is how God had intended it. Content and satisfied he looked at his magnificent blue planet. He couldn’t wait to try again: to let a micro version of himself incarnate into a human body on his favorite planet, to see what would happen this time around. He knew that the trees and the animals missed him. Even the murmuring streams would often call his name. But this time he wouldn’t rush anything. He would first make sure that his new human design would always keep recognizing the miraculous, so they would be immune for fear.
In his presence the humans behaved impeccably. The young woman and her man blossomed, enjoyed one another and helped God raise the child. And they lived happily ever after.