Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I sat in that bag for six months.

Six long, cold months. Doing nothing. Bored out of my mind.

In fact, I questioned my very existence.

Why was I here?

Why was I created?

What was my purpose?

Though surrounded by brothers and sisters and cousins, the darkness became unbearable. And the days, like dripping rain, slowly passed. And nothing changed.

It seemed our destiny was to simply exist.

But then, one day, we heard footsteps, closer than ever before. And like being lifted

by the wind, we were carried along and jostled about. We felt thrown about here and there, having no clue as to where we were.

Eventually, I slid down this long, dark chute and landed into something grainy and cold and dark. Then complete silence. And I was alone and it was quiet once again.

But this time, there was something uncanningly attractive about my predicament. It was not like that cold bag. This was strangely attractive, strangely familiar, though I knew I had never been here before. I was alone, but I did not mind, for it felt like home.

I did not want to leave. I sat there for three days.

And then it happened. Something way down deep inside came alive. I can’t explain it to this day. It was as if a microscopic flame was lit in my very being and started throughout my whole self. I had never experienced such as this, nor would I ever again.

Had someone predicted this three months prior, I would have mocked them in disbelief. Yet, here it was happening to me.

An awakening, a birth, a something I cannot describe. And it started something incredible.

I looked down and I was growing legs (I’m not making this up). And then my legs were growing legs, reaching out here and there, pushing amongst the grains. And it felt so right. It felt so natural. It felt so wonderful.

And then the craving started. A craving I had never experienced before. As if nothing else mattered. For more than anything in all the world, I wanted to see light. I had to see light. I must see light.

Somehow, I knew which way was up.

Don’t ask me how, I just knew. And I started pushing up. Sometimes to the left and sometimes to the right, but always up.

I was using all that was in me now, knowing I had to get to that light. Pushing, pushing, shoving aside. Like a thirsty man in the dessert, my soul was screaming for light.

And with one last, final push, my being was saturated with warm, wonderful, glorious light. I had broken through into a heavenly sunshine.

It drenched me and I savored it.

It enveloped me and I celebrated. It covered me and I wept for joy.

There was nothing left to do but spread my arms to the skies and rejoice. I looked around and thousands more were doing the same. Acres and acres, arms spread, rejoicing. For now — finally— we knew why we had been made.

Rex alphin is a farmer, businessman and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His e-mail address is