The most beautiful thing

Early childhood Latter Day Saints storybook memory and how I learned that God was not a grumpy old man who spied on me from the sky.

This piece is featured in Elizabeth Hellstern’s interactive creation, the Telepoem Booth. 

The most beautiful thing in the world sounds like – and they lived happily ever after.

The LDS-approved “where babies come from” book shows a woman sitting up in bed, blanket draped over her lap, husband standing behind her – his hands resting on her shoulders. They are both looking up, fresh-faced and smiling – the woman’s arms outstretched toward a gigantic hand in the sky holding a baby wrapped in swaddling cloth.

I was three when I asked my mother where babies came from. She told me that sperm, which is in a man’s penis, fertilizes the egg that is inside a woman.

I imagined sperm to be free-floating, fertilizing eggs everywhere.

Mom didn’t mention God or hands at all.

She told me God was in everything. Not just in the sky, but in trees and rocks and the ground.

—Even blades of grass?

—Yes.

Lying on the lawn at the end of the day, cool against the warm summer air. I picked a blade of grass and pressed God between the side edges of both my thumbs and blew.

The sound echoed.

Tumbling, rolling down the hill on the grass of God. Stone in my back!


—This piece is featured in the Telepoem Booth

 

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