Gaia Yearns For the Pretty Lights

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Let us imagine ...

Gaia is sitting on a wet bare rock by the ocean. She is a young girl, her skin a fresh young grey-blue with only a dot of green here and there. She is bald, her tattoos are all of bacteria. She is looking up into the sky fascinated by the lights she does not understand. She reaches for them but they are beyond her grasp.

One light grows slowly bigger and she watches it with interest. Suddenly it grows much brighter and then flares across the sky. For a moment she can see that it is a giant rock burning in the sky and then it crashes down into the sea before her and punches a hole in the Earth's young crust underneath the sea. The sea erupts with lava and steam and broken bits of the Earth's rocky crust are thrown skyward.

Gaia moves her hands evoking some kind of magic and time slows to an almost stop. The eruption in the sea almost stops. Gaia swims out through the ocean to the explosion curiously examining the fire and steam and lava and flying boulders. She scoops a long strand of bacteria out of the water and strokes it gently. The bacteria encyst in response. Gaia slips the tiny bacterial strand into a crack in one of the flying rocks.

Then she snaps the end off her own finger. She holds the broken tip of her finger in the open palm of her hand as she treads water. The tip slowly transforms into a tiny blue-grey baby with green freckles. Behind the baby, Gaia's finger tip has regrown. She slips the tiny baby into the same crevice as the bacteria. "Watch over them for me." she whispers into the baby's ear.

She begins to swim back toward shore. Before she has gone very far she undoes her magic and time returns to its normal speed, and the erupting ocean continues its violent eruption. As she rides a tsunami back to shore, Gaia watches the boulder leap into the sky and carry her baby and her bacteria off to another world. Over the ages she keeps watch on the boulder as it circles about the sky until it meets up with a distant red light. She is disappointed to see that her bacteria, still watched over by her tiny baby, slowly get buried in the red sands of the distant world and amount to nothing much.

An adolescent Gaia sits in a patch of short ferns and club mosses. Her body is much greener now. Her leg tattoos are of all sorts of fish and sea creatures. Her hair is long and contains so many different kinds of leaves and fronds. But there are no flowers in her hair. No vertebrates crawl through her hair. No tattoos of tall trees on her arms. It is night time and she is again watching the lights in the sky and wishing she could find her way among them. A tiny six legged arthropod hops from plant to plant around her. She picks it up and looks at the tiny pedal like wings that the six-legger is using to extend its hops. She stretches them into wide flat wings and lets the little creature go.

The little creature struggles with its huge wings, flapping its way higher and higher into the sky. It is headed straight toward the largest light in the night sky, the silvery white of the Moon. It keeps flapping but soon it is unable to climb any higher. The air is too thin. It becomes exhausted and returns to Gaia and the ferns. She welcomes it back but there is a sadness in her eyes. She looks back up at the lights in the sky and yearns.

Gaia is an adult woman now. She is sitting in the high branches of an oak tree. She is entirely blue green now but not yet the pregnant woman we know. Her hair has golden representations of vertebrates adorning it throughout. She is watching a pair of soaring eagles. Below her the strange apes that have recently appeared are poking at the remains of a camp fire. The eagles slowly circle and circle but can`t seem to climb any higher. She is so totally focused on them that she doesn't notice the apes planting seeds in rows. She is so totally focused on the eagles that she doesn`t notice the apes suddenly build a city. She is so totally focused on the eagles that she doesn't notice the apes build a great temple to a false god in the center of their city. Only when they suddenly build great smoke belching machines is her attention drawn to the quick moving apes.

The speed with which the apes have changed the landscape astonishes her. She becomes alarmed. Are they going to ruin everything? She wonders whether to put an end to them and their destructive behaviour. In a flash they have cost her so much. But then they wheel out a tall shiny machine. It belches fire and lifts into the sky. It zips right past the eagles and arks toward the silvery white moon. But it doesn't stop and turn back like the moth. It reaches up to the Moon and for a brief moment the apes walk about on the Moon's surface. They don't just stay in a cocoon like the bacteria. They walk about and poke at the dirt, they explore.

Gaia looks down at her belly. She has suddenly become immensely pregnant. She looks back up at the lights in the sky. "I am coming for you." she whispers with glee.

Gaia sits on a chair on a stage in the center of a massive auditorium. The auditorium is filled with blue-green women, their children and their glowing stellar husbands. Gaia herself is now an old woman. The life forms tattooed on her skin are strange and new. Sol is sitting beside her. He is old also, bloated and red. In the center of the stage, several adult green women of various ages, all with intricate and complicated tattoos, many with complex and elaborate machines working through their hair and over the skin, are speaking in turn to the audience.

One says, "Today we honour Gaia, one of the first mothers. She was among the first shoots in the forest that the galaxy has become. But we also commit to continuing the dream. We must find a way to cross the immensity of intergalactic space and take root amongst the galaxies. We will try. We will fail. We will try again. We will not give up. For it is in our nature to flower and spread."

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