This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Short Treks, and thus may contain spoilers.
The tale describes a girl, "a thousand centuries ago," who dug her hands in wood ash and threw it into the sky to create the Milky Way. Hidden among the Milky Way, was a secret message, believed to only be visible to "those whose hearts were open enough to receive it." (DIS: "Brother")
When Michael Burnham was a young child in the early 2230s, her father told her a version of this legend as a bedtime story. In this version of the story, the girl's people were hunter-gatherers first transitioning into farming, who afraid of the night dared not travel further then could be traveled in a single day. However, always farming in the same spot caused them trouble. The girl defied the village Elder and ventured, encountering an alien being which gave her the light of stars as a present. She became a great explorer, navigating by the constellations, and the Queen of her people. (ST: "The Girl Who Made the Stars")
Years later, Burnham was reminded of the story when she faced the prospect of meeting her foster brother Spock, thinking that when she'd first heard the story, she wasn't ready to understand it. In 2257, she further considered if she was ready while investigating the red bursts. (DIS: "Brother")