Faces in the Rock

Po

A long time ago, there was an Island in the middle of a vast ocean. The Island was green and lush, and covered in trees. The sea was crystal-blue, and bountiful in fish. There were many people on this Island, prosperous and happy. They knew of many things, and had a fine civilisation.

They could make boats from the wood and spearheads from the obsidian provided by the Island. With this they could hunt and fish. The people of the Island could write in a beautiful script, and it was the pride of all. The Island was governed by wise kings; many throughout the history of the Island. But the people knew that they required the kindness of the Island to survive.

And it continued that the people of the Island prospered. One day, it was decided to celebrate the success of the people, and thank the ancestors for their fortune. "I know," the people said, "let us build a statue, magnificent and tall, and surely the ancestors will be pleased."

And so it was, the work on the magnificent statue began. People began to cut a giant rock from the mountain, from which they would carve the statue, for the statue would be carved from a single rock. And then, they began carving the statue. They carved the face of the statue, and the torso of it. A base was carved for the statue, by the sea, so the statue could protect the islanders. Trees were cut so that the statue could be moved to its final place. They used the logs as rollers and pushed the massive statue to its base. After a great deal of effort, the statue was put in its place.

The people of the Island were pleased with the beauty and grandeur of the statue, and were filled with pride with their success.

The people of the Island continued to live in happiness, and for it they thanked the statue of their ancestors. It came into mind to build more of these statues, and so it began. The people began to work at building more statues, and more magnificent than the first. The quarry was always busy, and the trees always being felled. And with each statue completed, the people were filled with pride at their achievement, and so they constructed more. The beauty of the statues was admired by all.

Ao

But all was not to be. With the continuing success of the people, they grew arrogant and proud. They saw what they achieved and thought they could do more, and gain more glory. Statues were being erected across the Island, reaching the many hundreds. The quarry became deep, with statues in the process of being made, and trees continued to be felled.

This recklessness could not last. The forests across the Island were quickly disappearing, their wood quenching and fuelling the greedy ambition of the islanders.

Finally, there was only one tree left on the Island, a solitary bastion where lush forests once grew. The islanders saw the tree and knew it was the last. But still the islanders could not see through their madness, and one day the last tree of the Island was cut down, and the forests were no more.

Nature was angry at the destructive energies of man, and what they had inflicted on the Island, so she sent great punishment upon the islanders. The birds left the island, for there were no trees for them in which to nest. The birds were gone, and the people had little to eat. "Yet we still have our boats with which we can fish," the people thought. But this was not the worst.

A great storm came from the ocean, with heavy rain and mighty waves crashing against the island. The islanders were not concerned by this mighty storm, as they had seen many before, just as powerful. But the trees supported the very earth on which the islanders lived, and without the forest, it was unprotected. The mighty rains turned earth into mud, which slid from the mountainside. The villages were cast into the sea, and many people perished.

Yet, it was still not finished. Without the people ate only fish for a time, and their stomachs were satisfied. Yet the storm had damaged their boats, which were being overused to feed the hungry mouths. Soon the boats sprung leaks, and could not float. With no wood, the boats were soon beyond repair, and the islanders had no fish either.

And so it was, a great hunger took the island, and the people suffered with no food to eat. Many people starved, and some resorted to eating human flesh. And so the people continued to suffer.

Their suffering caused anger to fill the hearts of the islanders, and blamed their ancestors for the misfortune that inflicted the islanders. In the anger, they set to destroying the statues that they had creating, toppling them from their stands and removing their heads. Many of the statues created by were the islanders were thus destroyed by their hands also. The quarry was abandoned with half completed statues in their grave, with their faces in the rock.

The once glorious and prosperous island civilisation was reduced to a near nothing, with only a handful of people left.

Yet the survivors managed again to find harmony with the Island, and scraped life from what they had left. Their ancestors were no longer glorified by the islanders but were replaced by a new Master. And this is how it remained until a ship emerged from the horizon many years later on an Easter Sunday.