So It Began

The lyrics of So It Began are inspired by two pieces; The Man and Day One.

The Man is loosely based on Day One of creation. It's about a homeless man and our human condition.

After reflecting on the first day I realised I had more questions than answers; how did our humanity begin with such promise during the creation story and end up with a man living on the street shifting from shelter to shelter?

Day One is about God creating our natural world on that first day, the physical formation of new life. The writer stands alongside his Creator and watches it all take place.

i. The Man
Sacha Donovan

The man on Stone Street,
Loved those brown leather shoes,
From another man's feet,
Worn out wingtips keeping him warm.

His face told a tale
Of two lives, maybe three
"I had a wife once," he said
"Got a light?"

Greasy hair dancing,
To the song of Winter's wind,
Our discussion to the impromptu
Beer bottle percussion.

His eyes glazed over
In a thousand-mile stare,
"She was blonde like you"
Only he knew what he'd lost,
As he looked out there.

"Stay with me a while"
Said the man,
"Tell me about you,
The shelter ain't open
‘Til half past two".

We said our goodbyes,
I tried to grip it tight,
I know tomorrow consumes today,
This man left me with sight.

ii. Day One
Mike and Sacha Donovan

Anticipation ascending,
Met with warm, trustworthy tone,
"6 days and then we'll rest" You said.

Day one.
And so it began.

As You squeezed blazing colours,
In those hands,
Dust flew
From chalky wasteland.

The world gasped for breath,
Writhing into life,
Harmonised by the sound of rocks
Kissing farewell to the sky.

The noise, oh the noise
As each part took its place,
You could see the earth's apprehension
All over its face.

Quick to reassure,
With opaline orange dawn,
That first flare of light
Brings future, past, present,
In the gift of a sunrise.

It was perfect,
And it was good,

Day one.

So It Began

So it began
Blazing colours squeezed through Your hands
And the dust flew from chalky wasteland
And so it began.

And the Earth, she's gasping for breath
Oh and life comes from the depths
And the Sky she kisses farewell to the land
As they separate their hands
And so it began.

And so it began.

But for now
I'm sleeping on the concrete.
Prophesying on the pavement
Of broken bones and broken dreams
And I'm living on the edge of a void.

Out of nothing comes something
And so it began.

‘Cos every day's a new creation
Every breath life
We started out with nothing
Now we're something.

The Sun smiles the colours of dawn.
Like a mother she smiles at her new born

Out of nothing comes something

And so it began.



God the creator, standing with a blank canvas. A void of gases, like a thick, wet fog. God starts condensing the waters. While enjoying the creative and functional aspects of what He is doing, He is also thinking about who He is creating for.

As God separates the sky and the water, He thinks about how these waters will form boundaries, creating different locations for man to enjoy, to war in, to spill blood over. These special and sacred watery spaces will be used for discovery, ritual, triumph, grief, cleansing and separation.

Morning comes and breaks the night
The air is thick, the air is thick
Let's clear the air, let's separate
Like hate and love... like hate and love

Back and forward, or up and down
Is the earth still, or does it spin around
This water's chill, it suffocates
Let's clear the air, let's separate

And if man's to rule their world
This must be clear, crystal clear
To frame the calm of cascades still
With pain and death turn rivers red

Oceans come down
And rest upon the earth
Fall down from the sky

All this pain and this beauty for us to feel
When the light and[1] the sound beams off through the air
I can't believe all this could exist in space this time

And the spirit... It hovers... For all to see
I'm new to this, but I like what I see



When writing this song I couldn't get away from the notion of the Earth being an expectant mother.

Of her being formed but being barren and with no purpose, because an Earth with no life is an Earth with no purpose.

I like to think of the angel of the Lord coming to her and saying she will give birth to all of life, that she'll have sons and daughters of her own, and how she held on to that promise. She was the first expectant mother, and the first, out of her barrenness, to give birth to the miracle of life.

Here, I lie awake
The rock, divorced from the waves
The sound of the hills and the stone
Echo a promise made to fill up my home

So I wait in the dirt
I wait for the bones
I wait for Your word
To be spoke like a cold fresh wind that'll give me my own

I feel the life filling in my well
I feel my ground open up its mouth
And I'll show my sons and daughters how to grow
For all the blessed love, this is what I know

You shake stars to the sky
And You make them as guides in the night
As You speak these roots grow deep
To anchor a promise you still hold to me

So I still hold to You
Like you still hold to me
So I still hold to You



The creation story starts with a bang of bright light, but it's not until day four that the lights that we know appear. Day four of creation is not just about sun, moon, stars and galaxies, it's the creation of time as we know it. God creates a safe rhythm, a dependable cycle for our home. We cannot escape our need for sleep; we can't stop the next season from coming. Despite all of the unknown things of the universe and all the mysteries of God we are held by the light and turning of the sun and moon. We easily take this constancy for granted and we easily miss what this ticking of time teaches us about God's relentless, dependable love for us.

I chose the word "constant" carefully when writing this song. God is constant, not stagnate or stuck. And the world he made reflects that. God isn't fickle with his qualities; we can find his goodness in every season. The cosmos is full of mystery and adventure and movement, which is held together with patterns and order and predictability. He has given us broad boundaries so we feel safe to explore. God is both unchanging and surprising; He is the same, but he does new things. We are safe in his constancy.

Let there be lights
In the expanse of the sky
To separate day from night
Give us seasons, give us time
Ever constant
Spring, winter, summer, fall
You are constant

Let there be sleep
The stillness and stars
Moon changes by night
You remain, as we dream
Ever constant
Hour, minutes, days and years
You are constant

You mark the skies with signs
You sustain Matariki

Father, you find us
Even in the dark
You remind us
Again and again
Of Your constant love


Crash & Collide

The word Awoon sung "Awoo" (or abwoon/avwoon) is ancient Aramaic for what ended up as the term “Abba Father” in the Lord's Prayer.

Awoon is more likely what Jesus said as He referred to His heavenly father in His native tongue, it's meaning closest to:

"Oh thou from whom the breath of life comes"

Still me now my beating heart
My hands restless and eyes open in wonder
Feeling further past beyond
Me and my shelter.

Somewhere it's a part of me, I and I are one
Nature nurture my infancy
Come and breathe together

Awoo. Awoo.
Oh come, come and breathe together.

Stay with me spine and spineless
And feathered friend what say words for
Father/Mother of time
Show me how it could've the start.

Awoo. Awoo.

Come and breathe together
Breathe together

I see colour
I see colour and flight and blue sky
Burst through my eyes

I hear singing
Songs of the dark and deep
Crash and collide
Crash and collide
Crash and collide
Crash and collide

Come and take a hold of me
Come and take a hold of me
Come and take a hold of me
Awoo. Awoo. Awoo. Awoo.

Come and take a hold of me
Messengers of the light
Wandered of my heart
Show me how it could've been
At the start.

Come and take a hold of me
Show me how it could've been
At the start. At the start.

Come and take a hold of me
Show me how it could've been
At the start. At the start.

Come like colour
Come colour run
Crash and collide
Let us breathe together

Spine to spineless
Form and feather
Sing with me now
Let us breathe together

Come crash and collide
Let us breathe together

Come colour and motion
Let us breathe together


Gather Me

When I think of God and how He deals with me I think of a gardener, a gatherer. Someone who sows, tends, watches, prunes, feeds, and waits.

...and then does it all again.

We are made from His dust, His light, and His breath. We are made in His image and from His substance. We contain a depth and spirituality that somehow we can't quite grasp or contain in a frame of any kind, or perfectly express. He makes us whole, we get messy, and He makes us whole again.

Sometimes that's all I know.

When You gathered me
Dust was in Your hand
As the breath of gold lungs
Made dew upon the land

Gather me and gather me again

Lies will scatter my mind
Despite your watchful eye,
Active hand and warm smile
And brilliant design

Gather me and gather me again

I've a thorn I try hide
With threads I can't unwind
And I will fall in wars
That I don't recognise

Gather me and gather me again

Wonders of the Pure Heart
Made vivid in the sky
Wonders of the Pure Heart
The music of mankind

Gather me and gather me again

When You gathered me
Dust was in Your hand
As the breath of old lungs
Made new upon the land

Gather me and gather me again



"The creation of the world did not take place once and for all time, but takes place every day."
- Samuel Beckett.

When God paused, He was not looking upon a finished work of art as much as He was casting an eye on the first chapter.

It truly was the beginning. A grand cosmos of circles; wheels within wheels – creation defining itself in perpetuity.

From the star's slow burning descent to the intake of the tides.

From the sun's daily communion with the horizon to our inner circadian rhythm, the act of creation was made to play out on a million planes.

He rested, all these wheels in motion. He gave us a world where creation repeated itself within us and without us, a chorus without end.

...And we can't help but join the song.

All of this divine
All of this The Artist's design
Ours a hallowed earth
Under stars resounding with light

Dawn in every death
Heaven's shade upon the landscape
God in every breath
The bread and wine in every sunset

So it is with the world
So it is with the way You are

And all the world is a lightshow
And the mountains scream Your name
I can't help but join the song
And all the world is a lightshow
And it's screaming out your name
I can't help but join the song

The seas in endless sway
Just a fraction of the depths of You
The Maker in every mark
Skies designed to trace Your outline

So it is with the world
So it is with the way You are