A Small Spark Of Life (A Parable Of Sorts)

There once was a small spark of life in a small community somewhere in the vast and infinite universe. This tiny little speck of life was really no different than those he knew, and yet he could not help feeling a little different. You see, he couldn’t help noticing a limitation imposed upon the entire community. And while nobody else seemed to notice — or care — about this boundary, the one infinitessibly small spark of sentient life could not help but wonder why it was there. And though it did not know why, it had a feeling deep inside that this was not the way things were meant to be and that there was something more to its existence than spending it within the proscribed area determined by the wall placed around its community.

The little spark of life began to push against the border wall that surrounded everything he knew. This unnerved the other sparks of life in its confined community that saw the border wall as something that protected them. As far back as anyone could remember it had always been there. It was the one constant, the one truth. The others thought it blasphemous to expand the limits of their existence. It was madness. But the little spark of life could not contain the feeling within it. It had no explanation, only compulsion. And so it pushed against the outer wall, but it found it hard and unyielding. And the others sparks mocked its mad behavior and its ineffectuality.

But failure and the mocking of others, although they stung, could not still the unquiet that was within this little spark of life. So it continued to push against the walls of its universe, struggling vainly to see what was on the other side. Though the other sparks of life considered it mad, they gradually ignored its behavior because they came to believe its goal of pushing through the barrier was impossible.

Then one day, unceasing in its toil, the little spark heard a crack. It startled the little spark of life, as it startled all the other specks of life within its known universe. But unlike the others, it knew there was no point in turning back now, so it pushed again at the wall though all the others screamed at it to stop. And before they could stop it, the crack spread large across the wall of their known universe. The other specks screamed their fury and fear at it, for it had destroyed the only world they had ever known. And as the walls began to fall in upon them, it too began to feel the fear within.

Their world destroyed, the little sparks of life learned of necessity another form of behavior besides avoidance: flight. Each of the little sparks of life, recognizing that their place of safety had been destroyed, fled the madness, running blindly away from the wreckage. As the walls fell in, they found themselves swimming in a dark substance that seemed to spell certain doom for all. All they could do was flee.

Most within the community fled downward, hoping to find in the depths some degree of safety, some semblance of the life they once knew. But the little spark that had caused the catastrophe, realizing now there was no place of comfort, figured it might as well reach upwards. Each little spark of life reached outward. Most did so unwillingly, the one pushing upwards doing so with some small degree of hope for what it might discover. In both cases, they were digging blindly through the black substance that seemed to be all there was to the outside world.

Those that reached downwards at last expended themselves. They had run their race and had gotten nowhere at all, or else hit barriers that stopped them. But the little life force that felt there was something more to be had than the existence within the confined boundary knew it had committed to something and the there was no stopping now. All the life that was in him was not something he must protect but something that had purpose and meaning and was wedded to a cause even greater than itself. And so it pushed on. And on. Through the darkness and the unknown. Pushing through the resistant material that seemed to compose all of the universe. Until at last it poked its head out into quite a different universe altogether. It felt upon itself a light and a warmth it had never known and yet had somehow called out to him in the dark and crowded place it had once called home. It understood now what it was that had lured it from its safety, urged it from its comfort.

Before this, it had not lived, not really. It was only preparing to live. It had been merely a seed. Now it had been born. Now at last it had become what it somehow sensed it must be.

It felt sad that it had left the others behind, that none of the others had come with it. And yet it felt itself still attached to the others that had fled downwards as it had worked its way up. And it knew that it had a role to play for the others, to nourish them with the light and the air and the moisture that was given to it. And that the others were still there for it, as well. That they might give it support. When the winds blew strong, the fragile little sprout knew it could rely on its companions to hold it firm. That they might provide sustenance to it when the rain and the sun did not provide.

Change had come, as it always did. Life had adapted, as it always does. The sun had called forth life, as it always will.

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