In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.
A wind. A breath. A ruach. A spirit. An essence.
It was this that disturbed the water. It was an emanation of God but not from God because this was not other than God's pure self. This is the mystery of the great song of creation.
In the beginning there was a great exuberance—an expansion so eager we still tumble under it's impulse.
In the beginning there was a great wildness and water. In the darkness, there was a tumbling, a spinning, a pushing, and water. And over all this swept the wing of something even more wild. Something less tame. Something free and joyful. This thing was love and more than love. This thing was being and more than being. This thing was there in the darkness, dancing with the chaos.
And God did not say: let there be order.
God said: let there be light.
And there was light and water and the surface of the water trembled and shook with the great is-ness of being. The light was not the beginning or the end. The light was an added voice in the song.
I am a mother, wife, writer, lay-theologian, friend, failing gardener, and none of these.
In my beginning, when God created me, there was darkness and water and a pulse of life. There was a tumble of hope and love. There was a tearing from two to four and from four to eight. That was the fullness of me. All of this trying, all of the things I have done or not done have not brought me closer to who I am than that. And then there was light and there was breath.
Water is a paradoxical molecule. It is larger in its solid form than in its liquid form. Most things—rocks, gold, nitrogen—contract when they freeze, or assume their solid form, but water contracts to a point, then expands. This keeps the oceans from freezing solid and makes life possible on earth. This quirk, this deviation, makes the Earth the one tiny blue dot in the expanse of the known universe that can support life as we understand it.
There is no force that has shaped our planet more than water. It blankets most of our planet to depths greater than Mt. Everest is tall. Glaciers have carved the land, crushing and forming rock and mountains.
And, in the beginning, there was water and spirit.
I am fascinated by water. It has coursed through the our planet in an endless cycle since the primordial volcanos first belched it into the air. In the mountains where I live, it flows around rocks that are young in comparison and around my feet which will cleave it for an instant before being lost to time.
In the beginning there was chaos and darkness and water. And God.