This story takes place in heaven after we human beings have destroyed the capacity for life on this planet
After the end of everything, everything from the vantage point of the inhabitants of Planet Earth, Godd was sitting in a rocking chair in the corner of Its study in seventh heaven, looking down at the garden below. One angel was pulling weeds, another was pruning, a third was raking the lawn, and a fourth was kneeling at the edge of the fishpond, cleaning out the dead leaves.
It was a glorious day in heaven. But then again, isn’t it always? And Godd was sipping a cup of tea and feeling wistful, thinking back on Its creation and the tragic end of it – feeling wistful, and amused, in a sad ironic way, remembering how fiercely the angels had begged It not to create human beings, when It had announced the idea to them all those many eons ago.
Quoiz, one of Its pet dragons, was playing on the lawn, dancing, cavorting, chasing its long golden tail, then looked up in amazement as a phoenix circled the garden four times and landed in the top of one of the tall purple palm trees that line the back edge. Godd laughed, delighted, as It always is, by the phoenix’s always-perfect sense of timing. “At least,” It said out loud, “what I made up here has always turned out fine! And always makes me feel better!”
Godd took another sip of tea and put Its mug back on the small round table in front of It, and reached for a cookie that was sitting on a shining golden plate beside it.
“Perhaps I was wrong,” Godd said to Itself, “to not have told the human beings that I’m not infinite, eternal, and perfect. Just infinite, eternal, and still learning. I see how that omission probably added to their feelings of inadequacy, their need to compete, their need to prevail.”
Through the closed windows – okay, through Its almost all-knowingness – Godd could hear the four angels working in Its garden humming a song that It had written ages ago, after It had finished creating the Garden of Eden otherwise known as Earth. Godd sighed, looking down at battered burned-up smoky Planet Earth.
“Oh well. Some things just don’t work out.”
Then It ate another cookie.
Godd stretched, got up, and walked over to the sliding door leading out to the garden. There was something comforting about being in manifestation mode, something enjoyable about taking on form, taking on a body, and as It reached out to open the door, Godd was smiling.
“A planet gets destroyed every day in one of My universes. Asteroids, comets, stars going nova. Okay, it’s rare for a species to destroy its own world, but it’s not like it hasn’t happened before,” Godd said to Itself, stepping out to the patio.
The angels looked up and smiled. Godd smiled back. Leaves were shimmering on the trees, the phoenix was shaking out its wings and Quoiz came running toward It, rubbing its golden head on one of Godd’s left hands. Godd rubbed its head and stroked its chin, feeling in Its body the pleasure Quoiz was feeling, and feeling grateful for having created it, for having created – everything.
“The pond looks lovely, Frieda, and the fish are so happy!” Godd said to the angel cleaning the pond, and it smiled back, delighted, glad itself to be in manifestation mode, and feeling sad for the human beings on that once-lovely planet they had just exploded. Frieda could sense that that was what Godd was thinking about. And sensing what Frieda was sensing, Godd thanked it for its kindness.
“You all counseled me to not create them and looking back on it from here” – Godd waved Its hands around the garden – “I know you were right. But they did do a few wonderful things. And I’m going to miss them. Especially their music. I can hear that singer Edith Piaf – remember her? – singing a sad sweet song in the background – “La vie en rose.”
Frieda liked Piaf too and said so, and in that instant – the garden was filled with the sound of her heartbreaking voice, heartbreaking even though none of them had quite what the now-extinct humans of Planet Earth would know to be a heart.
The three other angels, Sydney, Morris, and Gloria all stopped what they were doing and took in the sound of Piaf’s voice, washing through the angelic equivalent in manifestation mode of their cells, filling themselves with the life in pink, rose, rosy goldenness that Piaf sang about. Then there was silence. Long rippling silence. And Godd turned to them.
“We’ve scheduled a gathering of all the souls who lost their lives on Earth,” Godd said. “From microbes to humans, bugs to bushes, trees to whales. And given your work up here, I think it will be useful for the four of you to attend.”
The angels nodded, those four loving and loyal worker angels. Sad, and glad. Their wings wrapped round them. And they bowed to Godd, turned, and went back to work.
There was a chaise longue in the back of the garden, which floated in the air beside the pond. Godd wandered over, took a seat, then stretched out on it. Above, the golden sky was clear and shining, as it always is, and off to the side, above the purple palms, a flock of phoenixes spiraled and lifted and the phoenix in the tree above spread its wings, rose, sailed, and joined them.
Godd sighed and closed Its eyes, sensing the approach of the angel Metatron. A bit annoyed, wanting to be left alone. Metatron paused at the end of the garden, feeling Godd’s silence as a palpable manifestation-expression of Its emotional state. Not wanting to intrude, Metatron was about to turn back toward sixth heaven when Godd sat up, smiling.
“Come join me, Dear.”
Another chaise appeared on the other side of the fishpond.
Metatron sat down, but remained seated, not reclining.
“Look!” Godd said.
A vast portal opened up in the firmament, and out beyond it they could see the smoking blackened remains of Planet Earth.
“Look!” Godd said again.
The portal opened out more widely and they could see Earth and its entire solar system, planets and comets and asteroids and planetoids, all ovaling around their beaming star in their perfect orbits. Even poor lifeless Earth. Turning. Bathed in the light of the sun.
Godd smiled, and Metatron smiled back. The chief of the angels, the very first one ever created, in this and every other reality, had come over the many billions of years of its existence to know and understand Godd rather well.
“Beautiful,” it said.
God smiled, nodding, taking in all of that beauty Itself and holding the destruction of one part of it in balance.
“And how are the souls doing?” Godd asked, knowing that Its chief angel had just come up from first heaven, knowing the answer, beyond manifestation mode, but enjoying, as It always did, the dance of knowing and allowing Itself for a time to not know.
“They’re dancing between grief and hope,” Metatron replied.
Godd laughed. “What are they dancing to?”
Metatron laughed, as the garden filled with the sound of Mercedes Sosa singing her version of Violetta Parra’s hauntingly moving song, which Parra wrote not too long before she ended her own life: “Gracias a la vida.”
Yes, they all thought, in their immortal selves, as Sosa’s rich moving voice rippled through the garden and rippled through them. “Thank you to life, which has given me so much!”
Quoiz had fallen asleep on its back in a bright warm corner of the garden, but hearing the deep warm music, it woke, rolled over, stood on its hind legs and came slowly dancing toward Metatron. And the flock of phoenixes, hearing the music, all sailed back toward the garden and began to circle it, rising and falling with the music. And Quoiz stepped closer to Metatron, who opened wide its wings and reached out its amber arms to the glowing, turquoise-eyed golden dragon. Then the two began to slowly sway and move around the fishpond. Filled with awe, the pearlereen blossoms began to sway in spirals, folding and unfolding, to the music. And Frieda, Morris, Gloria, and Sheldon put down their tools, and began to walk over.
And Godd rose from Its chaise, smiling. It took a look out at Earth’s solar system and closed the portal. Then took a look down to first heaven, down at the souls of all the living beings from Planet Earth who had been exterminated by those sad sweet human beings’ folly. Sighing, Godd turned back to the garden, walked toward Metatron and Quoiz, took them both in Its four arms, and filled the garden with a whole new song, a holy new song, its first verse slowly unfolding, unfolding and emerging as Godd thought it into existence.