It was such a tiny thing, a speck of a thing, all alone in a soup of darkness. And it was hungry, so very hungry. All it had known in its short life had been this terrible, gnawing emptiness.
Emptiness inside. Emptiness outside.
All it knew was that it existed. Beyond that, nothing more.
It sensed something outside itself, and this something murmured: Open your mouth, little one.
And for the first time, it realized it had a mouth and what it was for.
Its mouth opened, and nourishment was placed inside. The emptiness subsided; warmth suffused its being. And it didn’t feel quite so tiny anymore.
The nebulous veil parted, revealing a lucent blackness dotted with stellular pinpoints—it now knew of the existence of dark and light.
Again the something returned, and this time it saw the vague shape of that something, a smudge of darkness almost indistinguishable from the burnished blackness. It knew what to do without being told: it opened its mouth. A flood of melodious taste sang throughout its form.
Heat throbbed. Clarity intensified. It grew.
Its surroundings shimmered, sharpened in focus. The specks of light brightened, winked inside masses that eddied and swirled, their myriad colors fascinating. Excitement welling up inside, it stirred. Powdery gray puffed up, obscuring its sight—I see!—then slowly, ever so slowly, drifted down upon and around it.
It felt the rush of wind—it was learning so much, so fast—and again the something appeared. Its mouth opened eagerly.
Shattering brilliance burst upon its tongue, flavors of purple, red, and gold. And it remembered! The beginning. The fiery end. The thousand years in between.
Fly, Sacred One…crooned the Something that was everywhere and nowhere.
August head held high, it spread its majestic wings and took flight.
Ahead lay a ball of crystalline blue. The Phoenix’s heart rejoiced as it soared through the star-studded blackness toward it.
“Then I thought, ‘I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days like the Phoenix.’”
(The translation of the Hebrew word “khol” has two meanings; most say “sand”, but it can also be translated as “phoenix bird”.)