before he was god

before he was god

Long ago, before time had shown its light, God was just a boy. He jumped in puddles with his ten toes and collected rocks that he thought seemed the prettiest—same as any other boy.

His mother was the Earth, his father was the Wind, and he was the little mound of dust that decided to be. His name was the sounds of rustling leaves or a gentle stream running through a resting meadow. Peace, he was, but his mother called him Yah.

Yah would walk forever to reach the peak of mountains by sunset, because his favorite thing to do was count the stars and watch them fall as the lush green of the life around him faded to gray. His father was always close by, playing with his hair, pushing clouds along the way, and sharing secrets to the shrubbery around him.

Yah felt alive all the while. He was young, and curious, and bold.

One night, during his gazing of the stars, he stumbled on a rough clump of stones. After assessing his bare feet for bruises, he examined the stones, seeing that they were tainted silver—six tiny pieces. They felt warm in his hands, and sour to the taste (He was a bold boy, indeed). The way the stones had sat in the dirt seemed likely that they were impacted. The six silver stones had come from beyond all he had known.

Being so that Yah was curious, he decided to take the stones to his mother. He thought she may know more, and that she might teach him. He carried three stones in each hand and made way to the heart of the mountain. The heart was as close as he could ever be to his mother.

When he’d walked forever down the mountain, and tread through into its heart, he lay the stones at its deepest point and waited patiently for mother’s voice.

The sun made its way ’round again before she spake, but clearly did she sound. The ground shook around the heart of the mountain, echoing out and back across the crust of the earth.

His father soon whisked about the mountain and twirled beneath Yah’s feet, wrapping himself around the stones to taste their grace. He found nothing more than the rust of stars gone by, but his mother still did not trust the stones. With a rush and tremble, Yah was told to take the silver stones back to the mountain top, to the place where he had found them.

Without a speck of doubt, nor a passing thought of disobedience, he did as he had been asked. Three stones in his left hand, three stones in his right, he carried them. He counted his steps along his walk, and when he had almost ran out of numbers to exhale, he reached his place.

Although they were the prettiest stones he had found, and certainly the most intriguing yet, he lay them down to be, one by one from each hand, exactly as they were.

From the peak, he watched the stars once more. In the distance, along the horizon, he saw another height to reach—a new mountain to acclaim. After taking heed to his present place below the night sky, he walked, following a bright, white cloud towards adventure.

His father, as always, was close by, and his mother just the same as he began his journey towards the new heavens. Along the way, he watched the grass sway in his father’s footsteps, the trees stand tall in his mother’s hands.

He began his ascent.

The stars grew brighter with each passing moment, and more and more stars came to dance as they watched him climb.

When he reached the top of this new mountain, the newfound height in his little, growing world, he stretched his gaze across the distance. Vastness seemed too small to capture what he’d seen.

So, as he always did, he counted the stars and watched them fall. And after taking in all he could, praising the beauty of it all, Yah moved along to claim his next highest mountain.



Long Lost 

We’re sitting in the car. Music is blaring and no one is on this old road. You’re driving faster than you should, but I love how brave you are. Fearless, reckless, and kind, and you love me despite my lack of those qualities.

This is your favorite song. “Turn it up,” you cheer at me. I do, and we sing along. It dies down and I finally find the breath to ask where we’re going. “It’s a surprise,” you say, “better than the last one.” 

That’s exciting, since the last surprise was a trip to the lake to see a flower growing in the rust at the end of the dock. 

I love the ways life finds itself a place to be. 

“We’re almost there–just a few more minutes, I think.”

You, uh, think? Have you been here before?

“Not exactly, I just know it’s here. There’s a story out here somewhere.”

What is it?

“Something dire.” 

That’s not a word you want to hear when you’re in the backwoods of North Dakota. We’re heading north, so we have to be close to the border by now; it’s been a long drive.

What should I be expecting?

“C’mon. Don’t ask me that! This will be great.” 


“It’s an adventure!”


I wish I could see the sun setting through these trees, but the woods are so thick, and the green of the leaves is slowly turning grey.

“We’re here.”

Where is here?

“Let’s see.”

We walk through the woods for about twenty minutes and you’re just singing that song again as I count my steps, just in case. I always loved your voice, but you never liked to sing around anyone else.

Then I look up and you’re gone.

Panic is starting to sink in when I hear you call out, “HEY! OVER HERE!”

I half jog, half flail to your voice. Then I see it. 

Holy shit.


This isn’t what I think it is. Why here? How?

“I told you there was a story out here, silly. A journey through time.”

This is my brother’s car.

And it was. A 1970 Chevy Nova, custom. It has a little lightning bolt near the rear fender. The paint is faded and the metal is all rusty now, but everything is here. He built it himself and now it’s a ghost, just like him.

“Maybe we’ll finally find him. He’s out here, somewhere, alive. I know you know it.” 

Maybe you’re right.