Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

May 14, 2013
Mother Earth and El Niño

(a Latin American legend)

Long, long ago, all the stars shared a spot in the sky. They were all stars, bright and happy, connected as one family. But as time passed, they drifted apart, and Earth drifted far from the stars that were her brothers and sisters.

Out there in the universe, all alone, she began to feel sad and afraid. Being alone after so many years of company and companionship, she mourned. She had no one to talk to, no one to laugh with, no one to sing to, no one to dance with or chase across the sky.

Earth turned in circles and searched the vast darkness, but nothing brought her joy until one day she understood. She would have to create her own family if she wished to find happiness again.

And so she rested beneath a thick blanket of cold, thick ice. She closed her eyes and set her heart and intentions on creation. Time passed, and then one day she gave birth to a beautiful child, a healthy, strong, hearty little boy.

She was overjoyed to become a mother. “I am Mother Earth,” she proclaimed with gratitude and pleasure.

When her little boy was still a baby, he was a lovable bundle. He was often sleepy, easy to entertain. Like most babies in this world, he loved to eat and sleep and laugh and cry. He slept many hours of the day, and Mother Earth watched over him, brimming with love for this child of hers. Now she was no longer lonely. She whirled happily through space, enjoying the company of her child. She wove a cradle of grass and flowers and carried her child as she spun through space.

For many months they lived happily together this way, and each night, just before her child fell asleep, Mother Earth sang to her son.

“Sleep, el niño, little boy of mine

Sleep while your aunts and uncles watch over you

Enjoy our whirl through space and time

To you I shall always be true.”

And so her child fell asleep with a smile on his face and a heart full of song.

Like all children, the baby grew older and bigger. As a toddler, he was full of spirit and energy, and after awhile he became a little harder to handle. At night, Mother Earth was so tired that sometimes she couldn’t finish singing her song before she fell asleep.

“Sleep, el niño, little child of mine

Sleep while your aunts and uncles watch over you

Enjoy …”

The older the boy grew, the more he loved to walk. And soon he ran. And not much after that he was sneaking into every crevice he could find. He loved to climb the mountains and descend deep into the valleys. But he loved especially to play in the water. He swam this way and that — agile as a fish — and sometimes when the spirit came over him, he filled his mouth with water and spit it out all over the place.

Soon this became a favorite game, and whenever he did this, he laughed and laughed, but Mother Earth did not like this.

“Mi niño,” she said, “why are you doing this? Why do you make so much mischief?”

When the boy heard this, he only laughed harder. Once again, he dived into the water and came up with a mouthful. Once again, he began to spit.

“Mi niño, stop!” his mother scolded him. Sometimes he was sorry, of course. Like most children, he did not like to make his mother mad.

And when his mother wept with frustration, he felt terribly sad.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I promise I won’t make trouble again.”

But now Mother Earth’s nighttime song changed.

“Sleep, sleep, maker of mischief, my son

Your aunts and uncles are watching your ways

The world wishes you a life of joy and fun

But all this trouble sets my heart ablaze.”

Mother Earth tried to teach her son. She spoke to him in every language: “Little man, el niño, kleine yunge, petit fils, meniño, agoraki, poika, ragazzino … Do not treat your Mother, your Mother Earth, this way. Be kind and sweet and good. Be gentle in your ways.”

Like most children, he tried hard to be good, and most of the time he was. But once in a while he could not help himself. There was water everywhere, and that water was irresistible, and sometimes he felt the laughter bubbling up from deep inside, and when it did, he had to dive in and swallow and spit and make all kinds of mischief.

At long last, Mother Earth understood she could do nothing but love and cherish El Niño, even when he wreaked mischief on all her other children. And to this day, sometimes this is what he does, and still Mother Earth loves him.

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