Story, Value, and Becoming More Real
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December 5, 2020

Adam R. Nettesheim


Has anyone ever told you the tale of the Everbrights?  Do I get to be the first to tell you their story?!  Well, the honor is mine, and I shall try to serve them and you well in the telling!

The Everbrights were made of Sunlight on the day that the cosmos spun into being. The Sun scooped them from his own flares and plumes and lovingly folded and formed them into radiant beings. He then set a light on a beautiful planet so they might multiply and spread their light and he could watch them dance in the trees and play in the rivers and sing from the mountaintops. The Everbrights were more colorful and radiant than if the most beautifully intricate stained-glass window came to life. Their combined light lit up the planet so much that anyone far enough away would assume it was yet another bright Sun. Whenever traveling comets passed near that galaxy, they could hear the merry singing and laughing colors that flickered in brilliant patterns extending outwards for lightyears.

One day a group of Everbrights were playing a game where they would streak through the canyons of the planet at varying speeds to make them emit music. But two Everbrights entered opposite ends of a canyon at the same time and collided halfway through. They tumbled to the bottom of the canyon and landed in mud, laughing and laughing. The first one helped the second stand up and wipe the mud off, but then other Everbrights flew down and began to point at the mud covered one. The muddy Everbright looked at itself in the reflection of the water and saw that it indeed did look… different. Oh to be sure, every Everbright was a unique combination of colors and light – the embodiment of Sunlight and beauty, no more beautiful than the next. But, covered in mud, this Everbright experienced something it never needed before. Distinction. It began to wipe the mud off… but then it stopped. There was something inside itself that liked it when everyone looked at it. This Everbright never wanted for friendship or love, but it never felt this level of notoriety. And it began to wonder if it was really enough just as it was without the mud.  So it decided to leave the mud on for a while.

As the muddy Everbright flew back, it received the same attention it gained before. And this only solidified the belief that it hadn’t been enough before. The Everbright pulled some leaves from the bushes and plucked some grass and patted them into the mud. Then it presented itself to the other Everbrights and received even more attention. Some Everbrights were bewildered. Why would this Being made of divine Sunlight cover itself up? But others approved, and they too began to wonder what they might do to look as this Being looked and receive the recognition it was receiving.

Over the next few cycles, the Everbright planet began to dim slightly as several more of these radiant beings began covering themselves with mud and leaves and grass and twigs. But when the rains came, the water ran down their glowing bodies and washed their ‘specialness’ away, leaving them luminous, but unsatisfied. They no longer believed the light was enough… that they were enough. They felt the need to be more than what they were made and meant to be. So the Everbrights took needles and thread and began sewing patches into their own glowing skin. These patches wouldn’t run off in the rain, they thought, so they could be special and worthy in the rain, too.

I’m sorry to say, as the years went by the Everbrights began to favor those with the most patches and disdain the Everbrights without any. Some Everbrights would feel bad if they saw another with more patches than they, so they would fly  away and hide until they could sew another patch into their skin. The most esteemed Everbrights were the ones who were covered from head to toe with patches. The less light that shown through the cracks, the more praise they received. The Everbright children began to see that the world of the older Everbrights was now centered around patching your light away, so at young ages, the young ones tried anything to cover themselves, too. This, however, would not allow the Everbright children to grow into the fullness of themselves, and the more they covered up, the less radiant they became.  After that, any comet that passed through the cosmos would not hear the joyful songs. They did not see the dancing colors. The planet next to the Sun did not shine as before, and the galaxy was colder without its warmth.

Now remember the dear Sun?  Well, the Sun cried and cried for its beloved Everbrights. Why didn’t they think they were enough? Why did they have to hide? Didn’t they know that the Sun loved them and delighted in their reflective radiance? How could the Sun remind them of who they truly were? Soon a plan was hatched to rekindle their light. The Sun would make itself an Everbright, to show them what they truly were and could become again! The Sun twisted and turned and groaned and condensed and, with much pain, finally emerged from a cloud of sparks as a radiant Everbright. The Sun Everbright came down and landed amongst the patch-covered Everbrights and spread its arms out wide. It thought it would be received with love and joy, but instead the patched Everbrights attacked the Sun Everbright and tried to extinguish its light. The light that they once were now hurt their eyes because they were no longer used to seeing it. Every patch covered Everbright ran towards the Sun and piled onto it with a ferocity that broke the Sun’s heart. And with a mighty force, they extinguished the Sun Everbright into a shower of sparks.

But do not weep for the Sun, dear one!  All seems lost, but look!  See that speck of light, darting back and forth?  Blink and you’ll miss it!  There’s another!  And another!  The Sun lives on. For though the form it takes is different, it still moves among the Everbrights. Each spark of its being flows across the land in secret. Its love for the Everbrights is no less strong and its desire to save them from their prison of patches is still its quest!  It slips in secretly, and quietly frays the thread and breaks the stitches one by one. Ho-ho!  What delight it takes in this loving sabotage! Look, light is peeking out from that one!  And another!  And another!  As the patches slowly come undone and fall off, the Sun now sees hope that the light will again shine more beautifully to all those that have eyes to see!  And for those that will let the Sun burn their patches away to reveal the beauty they were always meant to be, a new dawn can begin.

The End

The featured image is courtesy of Julie Jablonski and used with her gracious permission for Cultivating and the Cultivating Project.


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