He was thrilled at the beauty: the sunlight filtered green as it passed through the leaves, the softness of the grass, the brightness of fruits and flowers. The music of birdsong and running water flowed gently around him, and there were subtle perfumes in the air. And yet, even here in this paradise, something was incomplete. He had everything, and yet there was something more that was needed He did not know what the problem was until the Lord spoke, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Alone. He rolled the word around his mind, seeking to take hold of the flavor of the thought. What did it mean? That he was missing a .. helper. This was another word to ponder, a strong word, a puissant word. A helper was someone who came to stand beside you, and share their strength with you. Language dropped full-formed into his mind, but making a living meaning of the concept was another matter. He felt the Lord smile gently at his ignorance.
Then the animals came, and they delighted him. As he examined each one, new knowledge flowed into him. They embodied so many things that he needed to take hold of. For how could he rule them unless he understood them? And as he saw these things, and reveled in them, he named the creatures and spoke the meaning of each one. There was Bear: large and round and strong, with long fur and long claws and a love of sweet things. There was Weasel: small and sleek and sharp and swift. There was Antelope: graceful and elegant, running and leaping for the sheer, primal joy of movement. There was Sloth: slow and languorous, content to simply be in each unfolding moment of time. And there was Ant, so tiny he had to bend right down to see it, and so busy that he marveled at its ceaseless activity. Each creature was uniquely itself, yet none of them was .. alone. For the Lord had made a mate for each one of them, an exact counterpart, a she-creature unlike the he-creature, and yet, even more, so very much alike. She-bear was so clearly the match and counterpart for He-Bear; She-Weasel was so clearly the match and counterpart for He-Weasel. But where was his match and counterpart?
“Now you understand,” the Lord smiled. Then He caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and took part of the man’s own substance, from his side, near his heart, to make the perfect counterpart, the strong helper, the one who could match with him breath for breath, thought for thought and joy for joy. She was harmony to his melody and lifter to his worship. She was strength to his weakness and weakness to his strength. She was passion to his calmness and calmness to his passion. She was his tears and his laughter, and she would teach him love. She was absolutely equal, and wonderfully different.
The man awoke to wonder. He recognized himself in her, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. He was no longer alone.