Nature in My Eyes

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
June 2019

By Andrew Wu, Art by Alicia Xin

Eyes of the Savanna

 

Chapter 1
The Seed

I am a seed who was planted by Native Americans into the rich, fertile soil of the forest paradise of the wilds of Michigan. Each day, forest would grow, and water would flow, Nature would do its thing. This never-ending cycle of creation was the lifeblood of Mother Earth’s greatest creation, Life. I am Life, and you are Life. Everything that moves, grows, and flourishes is Life.

Each day Nature would repeat itself. Soon, I began to grow. I emerged from the fertile soil and saw what appeared to be a blinding ball of fire hanging in the sky. The warmth this object gave me was enough to make me happy. I could feel my sprout growing in this heavenly warmth. Was this the meaning of life and Nature itself? Every day I basked in the object’s warm rays. I then classified this object as God. At night God would lower down out of view, taking his warm rays with him. Then another object would rise up at night, which was not warm and much smaller. It never appeared to take one shape, with a slight change in the structure of the object every night. It had a certain glow, making it seem unnatural and mysterious. I then came to classify this cold object as Gloom. Gloom would calm me down, and allow me to rest.

One day at sunrise or what was supposed to be sunrise, I couldn’t see God. He just wasn’t visible. I wondered why and quickly discovered strange floating balls of cotton were blocking out God. I classified these cotton balls as the Shields of Vision. They kept getting darker and darker until, I felt a drop of what I’d never felt before, which was touchable but not solid and broken when touching anything. It made me feel better than when God was out. It felt like nourishment, a soothing drop of liquid. Thundering booms followed the rain. I called these Boomers. The next day when God was visible again, I was especially happy because I have not gone through a day without God until yesterday. God was especially bright for some reason today, and he seemed to outshine Nature itself.

A few weeks later I had become a big sprout growing out of the ground. I saw more of the wondrous world upon me, huge lumps of rocks with white peaks, plants of my own kind, trees of a tremendous height. I saw Nature! Nature was beautiful, elegant and grand!

A few months later I grew into what Native Americans called “naadą́ą́” or in American language, “corn.” Days went by and I grew taller and taller. Inside the bulb on top of my stalk grew a fine, tender kernel of corn. As the days went by I began to feel older, crinklier. A few months ago, God had bathed me in soothing warmth, but up to this point I felt like he was burning me with inhospitable heat. I felt dry with God visible. I felt burnt and wanted no more. Eventually crows started eating my corn, and a few days later, my corn was an empty cob and fell out.

By then I was reduced to nothing but a dry empty stalk lying on the ground. Now I had learned the true meaning of Life: be created, wither away, create, and destroy. I had been created as a seed, created a corn cob, absorbed water, and eventually withered away myself. This was my fate and I was ready to accept it.

Chapter 2
The Insect

I am a minuscule insect inside an egg, a small egg. These eggs were laid by another of my own kind. I was just a puny creation of Nature and the Universe itself. I would hatch into a marvelous spectacle of Nature. I would discover the meaning of Nature and accomplish what no insect has accomplished before. I was soon to be hatched and discover amazing things, but for now I had to wait a couple of days.

A few days later, I hatched, along with the other eggs that were laid by my mother. Each of our tiny limbs and joints emerged from out of the shells from which we were made. This was the first time I had seen the outer world, which was a spectacle of true beauty. I started to walk away from my birthplace, my sisters, and brothers. It was something completely new, something that was almost telling me to solve the mystery. But the mystery of what? The mystery was Nature perhaps, or could I somehow solve myself? The idea of solving mysteries was a pleasant thought to my head.

As the days passed, I began to shed my old skin and grow a new one. It may not seem very interesting, and actually it seemed weird, but this is how Nature works. It creates new things and replaces them with newer things. This is Nature. I had settled to a spot 10 miles from my birthplace. I live in a Pine Tree next to a majestic 130-foot high waterfall. At this point I was a decent sized Stag Beetle, and my jaws were two centimeters long each. I had my own territory, and my brothers and sisters had theirs. Occasionally, I found a trespasser and, as usual, I threw them in a place they would never get out of. I was basically the King of Bugs in my domain. But I felt empty, incomplete, and it was like a part of my life was gone before I was born. For some reason, from the start of my life, I wanted to solve a mystery. But this mystery was a mysterious mystery. I myself didn’t even know what this mystery was.

When I was roaming around in my domain looking for food, I came across the miracle of life— a deer was being born. I was watching, and felt like I had to find the meaning for this, some mystery that relates to everything. Did the mystery relate to life? If so, this could be the biggest clue to solving the mystery.

I was basically the King of Bugs in my domain. But I felt empty, incomplete.

As days passed, I began to think about this mystery. I began to discover more clues. However, I was not aware that I was aging and withering away. I was running out of time to solve the mystery. I could feel myself getting closer and closer to catching it, but it seemed to keep scampering away. I felt like I was missing an important key to the mystery. All the clues lined together to form Nature. I had to solve Nature, why it took place. I had to do it before I withered away, but none of the clues, alone or combined, gave an answer.

I was running out of time, I could feel my aging but still no answer. “Wait,” I thought to myself. “Nature doesn’t exist as one, but many; there is no one answer to that many things. Nature happens because of itself. It is a cycle that happens in the wild.” Had I found the answer? Did I solve one of the greatest mysteries on Earth? If so, I would wither away with pride, with a hope of someone new taking my place. This was my fate. Nature was doing its thing: to Create, to Destroy, and to Replace. Goodbye, green world. See you soon.

 

Chapter 3
The Fish

An egg was once laid in a pond. Inside that egg was a fish; that was me. As my egg began to soften and thin, I slowly began to break free. I emerged with an unknown purpose which I would soon begin to realize. As I hatched along with all my brothers and sisters, I began to realize that I looked different. I looked more like a Koi Fish than a Salmon. Well, even if I looked different, I bet I was smarter than the other fish. I felt wise, knowledgeable, like I’d had another life before this. I slowly followed a stream leading from the pond to a small lake. My instincts told me to go there. I was not aware that this was the place where I would discover the mystery that I would solve.

I followed the stream and encountered a fork in the road. I knew which way to take by instinct. I took the right path and eventually followed it to a small lake. I saw not many of my siblings had made it—only 40 percent of them had made it. I did what any Salmon would do: I started looking for food. There were big insects swarming but none of them were in reach. The hunger I felt was immense even compared to huge lakes. As a response to my hunger, I jumped up four feet and snatched an unexpecting Beetle. The bug filled my hunger, and I was no longer starving.

As I began to swim around in my new, temporary home, I began to wonder. I wondered about what made this place seem so special. It just seemed like a regular lake, but there was more to it. I felt this lake was an answer, an answer to some great, important, unanswered question. I wondered about this “Question.” It could be something related to Life, Nature, or anything along those lines, though those topics seemed “solved” or “figured out.” I noticed birds cheerfully chirping as if nothing wrong could happen. Everything seemed so peaceful.

Maybe the answer to peace was the thing I had been looking for. It all seemed so clear now. If the answers to Life and Nature were already solved, Peace would be the next. This seemed like an easy topic, but it wasn’t as easy as it sounded. There must be a deeper meaning for all of these. I felt I needed to solve this. This was my life mission, and I had to do it. If I failed to solve Peace before I died, I would even regret living. This became my life goal.

I felt this lake was an answer, an answer to some great, important, unanswered question.

A few days later, I swam around my lake in search for clues about Peace, but found nothing. If there were no clues to the answer to Peace, did that mean Peace was only a result of Chaos? Have I just solved a great mystery of the world? Even though that was unlikely, it seemed like I had. I thought some more and it made sense, I had just solved the idea of Peace. I could live the rest of my life in Peace, enjoy the wonders of the world and, more importantly, live my life the way it should be.

Chapter 4
The Bear

As a bear cub, I always wondered about Mother Earth, our home planet. My mother told me that we lived on a planet named Earth who is everyone’s proud mother. I admired Earth mainly because of her size and power. She was not to be reckoned with. My mother told me about the Gods who created Mother Earth. These Gods were even more powerful than Mother Earth. I wondered why the Gods created Mother Earth, maybe for Peace? Maybe just to create something, or even to bring happiness to the Universe. Whatever the reason, I’m sure it’s a good one.

As I grew older, I started going off on my own to explore the wilderness. I saw butterflies, flowers, and lakes. The Sun that cast his light upon Mother Earth was out. Mother Earth’s surface seemed perfect and almost completely natural. Why was Mother Earth so perfect and what was her reason for existence? As I explored, I found nothing that gave hints to my question. It seemed like Earth was here because of a major coincidence. Everything seemed natural, and everything was in the place it was supposed to be. How can something so Natural have everything in the exact place? Living creatures are the most amazing creations of Mother Earth. They have diverse forms, though each originated from the same ancestor. No other known planets have such diverse life. It was probably just a big coincidence. But that coincidence has made Mother Earth one of the most special places in the Universe.

When I was one year old, my Mother sent me to live alone. I lived next to a river, where I would eat fish every day. This supply of fish was the perfect kind of food. Mother Earth was the only thing keeping me alive, and she was one of the only places where there was life. None of this seemed to be planned out. This was only a coincidence. That seemed to be the reason for Mother Earth’s existence and various forms of life. The only possible answer to Earth’s greatness was the greatest coincidence of all time.

Now, when living on my own, I felt in charge of an entirely new aspect. Every day, now and then, I would find something peculiar. Some days were just more special than others. It was strange to think a normal day was more special than another normal day. I lived my life normally and occasionally ran into another bear, and I would snarl and they would go away. When I was younger I felt more excited, but now I feel monotonous about my day. Every day is just the same as another. I wish something amazing would happen.

Why was Mother Earth so perfect and what was her reason for existence?

One day, when looking for food, I found a peculiar rock at the bottom of a crystal-clear river. I went forward and picked it up. What I noticed about this rock was that it was as clear as the lake itself. I could only see the rock because of its outline. It looked special as if it was a gift from the Gods. I decided to keep this rock, and as soon as I had it with me, a huge school of salmon crossed the river to my side. I was shocked at the sight of so many salmon. That day was the best day. I had found the sweetest and ripest berries, the best weather, and no competitors. I knew this was the rock’s cause. This rock was a miracle, a grace, something I wished to keep forever. I could live happily with it, accomplish my dreams, and live my life the way I wanted.

Andrew Wu Nature in My Eyes

Andrew Wu, 11
Canton, MI

Alicia Xin Eyes of the Savanna

Alicia Xin, 13
Scarsdale, NY

About the Author

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2 Comments
 
  1. Onnie June 2, 2019 at 6:28 pm Reply

    This story REALLY made me want to get published in Stone Soup!

    • Jane Levi June 7, 2019 at 2:58 pm Reply

      Keep writing, and keep submitting – some advice and all the details on what to do are there if you press the submit button! We really look forward to reading what you send us.

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