The gods of the Ancient Greeks, still invoked by the children of Gaia thousands of cycles around the Sun later—Hermes, Zeus, Apollo and all the others—came later. The Archetypes that skirt around the shadow side, inevitable for individuals struggling to fit into an imagined world that is not the inner flame with which they were born, came later still.
Her most complicated progeny has not always been the problem child that he has become. Not all have forgotten their origins, but all are paying a steep price. For those who have forgotten that “Mother Earth” spawned them and that she continues to nourish them throughout their lives, the road is running out. Gaia–as mothers throughout time and space do–cares deeply for all her children, since every one of them has arisen from a font of boundless love. Yet not all her children remember the gift of their birth. Even fewer are aware that their mother has her own need to explore and grow, so necessary if she is to continue to care for and nurture her offspring.
Among the millions of life forms, some are more able than others to return the love without which they would not be alive. Some experience the love that gave them life in their rising into the heavens on winds that carry them across pastures and oceans; some while galloping through fields of grass onto hilltops. Some are closest to Gaia when they themselves bring children of their own into life. In that act, they also partake in Gaia’s journey of joy and sorrow.
Gaia–called “Great Mother” by those who understand that they would not be present to call anything something, but for Her–is not only a mother. She is also the most complex and integrated of beings in her own right. And ever since the great borderlands of madness have been broached, strangers have arrived who are not themselves children of Gaia. These visitors are looking on in horror. They tell Gaia that they are deeply concerned for what is happening to her as the accelerating madness of her progeny accosts the very heart of her being.
She does not know if those alien beings come from some other place in the universe. She hopes that they do, because that could mean that she is not alone in a realm in which consciousness and caring have evolved more widely than she has previously known. The alternative is that she has been infected by the shadow that is afflicting her complicated child. If her ability to care is finally broken then every living being will be lost. She pleads with those visitors not to abduct her dear children from their homes, prodding and poking them with so little empathy that she herself feels violated. When she raises these objections, they say that this is how they themselves were raised; that they know no other way to inquire into the intentions and state of mind that are threatening the lives of all her children.
The ’visitors”, whatever their parentage, tell her that they come from a place where birth is different, that for them birth does not spring forth from an act of love which is thereby imparted to the offspring. They say that—on what they call their planet–global consciousness has also evolved, but that it lacks the gift that Gaia bequeaths along with consciousness. They marvel that for Gaia, her acts of creation can impart a capacity to love another with no thought of recompense. They tell her that they want to learn how she is able to impart to some of her progeny the gift of a mother’s love. These visitors are at their most gentle when they share with her that they have not experienced this kind of intimacy in their own lives. At such times, they seem to feel a kind of awe to be in the presence of a way of being unknown to them.
Since the visitors have arrived and called the path of the future into question, Gaia has seen more clearly that she and all her children are paying a dear price for the breakdown of one child among them; but she also has become more deeply aware that without her children she could not have learned from them the joys of discovery and growth. Listening to the strangers, she understands that, without these relationships, she might have been a factory floor reproducing yesteryear’s models–which the visitors tell her is very common in the universe.
She doesn’t have favorites among her children, except that those in distress always absorb her attention most deeply. Among those troubled species, concern for the one now on suicide watch fills her days and nights. Those are the offspring who have brought the visitors here. They are why the visitors are abducting and prodding certain individuals; those who have the capacity to see them. They say that the homicide and genocide sweeping across the land will not stop without intervention. They tell Gaia that the universe cannot allow one troubled offspring to take down her whole family. They tell her that she is a treasured presence in the universe that cannot be allowed to die because of one tormented progeny. They tell her that she is young enough to try again; that the whales and dolphins can become her next window into the vastness.
That is why Gaia weeps. That is why she falls to her knees, drenching the borderlands with her tears; that is why she is consumed with a burning agony that tears the very flesh from her body. It is because of this one tormented species that water—for eons held in the cells of glaciers and ice shelves, allowing winds and currents to flow harmoniously throughout her body—no longer falls as gentle rain upon the land.
She knows that the visitors, whether extraterrestrial or home-grown, have decided that radical surgery is the only option; that they are now giving her time to say good-bye. But she doesn’t know how to let go of the child who has taught her to be aware that there are other worlds in the vastness of space; who has taught her that she herself is cradled, a cherished child of a vastness whose full scope she has only begun to glimpse. It is not a simple good bye to relinquish, possibly forever, this wider perspective that she is not alone; has never been alone.
Torn between hope and grief, she beholds her gifted child walking toward the abyss, knowing that he will not be permitted to keep taking his innocent siblings down with him.
If only she could create a hidden mountain retreat where some of his kind can be saved. But she has done that; and now those protected places are falling one by one; falling to invasion by others of his troubled species; succumbing to a lack of harmony among water, air, earth and fire. If only she could open a part of herself into a protected kingdom where a new beginning could flourish. But a disharmony laden with past actions and inactions has finally won out. Now she stands bereft, with nothing left but the sad duty of saying a last goodbye.
The visitors—shadows through they may be–are reminding her that the hour has come. Her most recent-born is terminally ill with a raging sickness and is taking his siblings down with him as a chronic way of life. They are telling her that she is now lost in grief and so can only see a broken future; but that in time, in centuries and millennia to come, her offspring, perhaps the great-hearted whales, will lead her back into the cosmos.
Like a parent watching her child’s first day in a new school yard, Gaia offers up a prayer to the spirits of Fate and Time itself, pleading that her troubled progeny will step forward and extend his hand in recognition that this is the only time he has and that it is worth saving.