She awoke from her dream into a pure freshness, still virgin to human eyes. The air was clean and the sun shone bright, as if it had just smiled for the first time. She breathed softly at first, loathe to shatter the sparkling silence. Stars hung lucid and trembling, just out of reach of her touch. Golden zephyrs caressed her skin and rippled the reflections, making the starlight dance across the water. She could feel the enormity of such beauty in her veins, under her skin.
After some time, she began to feel lonely. She wanted others to share the beauty of life with. She sewed a backdrop of greenery – climbing, creeping, tall and short. She released velvet insects and gossamer-winged dragonflies into the silence of her sanctuary. Giant fairytale trees grew tall above the carnival of flowers dancing across the ground. The air began to swell and grow richer, the waterfalls danced and sparkled with joy and the sun shone brighter. Shimmering fish leapt in the creeks and huge leviathans patrolled the deeper water.
She revealed prowling cats with majestic coats, gentle grazers, swinging primates of all sizes and tiny creatures with soft eyes. Diminutive birds with tinkling voices left sparkling trails through the trees, while lords of the air patrolled above them on graceful wings.
One day she brought men and women to share her new abode. She knew they would appreciate the peace and beauty she had created. They laughed and danced, and watched the wonder of the days go by. They helped each other; they respected her. They walked lightly and listened carefully. They took only what they needed from the forests and streams, knowing their place in the Life they shared with the birds, trees and beasts around them.
The years went by and things slowly changed. The sun gradually dimmed its face, ashamed to look upon the cursed land below it. The streams ran dry, or raked muck and debris through their course. Animals died and lay rotting. Plants and trees ceased to grow and were replaced with barren dirt or tangled thorns. Huge, busy cities arose overnight, under palls of smoke, where Nature had once reigned in peace. The people that she once shared her gardens and forests with abandoned her. They created their own modes of life and light. Her old world of peace and beauty was forgotten.
She was pushed to her limits to control the spread of this curse, trying to keep her place safe and beautiful amidst the progress. She fought a war against an advancing and relentless army for years. She was pushed and stabbed and trampled upon. She was left for dead and forgotten, until the next army arrived to continue the assault. She cried toxic tears that burned only herself, and endured the pain and humiliation of abuse for years on end.
One day, the wrath that had seethed and festered under her skin began to surface. Animals fled from her, sensing her fury. Her body trembled and shook. Mountains crumbled in her wake. Liquid fire spewed from the cracks she made and engulfed the rubble. With her own hands, she raised the waters and washed away the ugliness.
In the aftermath of her rage, she wept for the pain those around her felt. She wept for the innocence and beauty lost, and the confusion in their hearts. She did not know their language, nor did they know hers. This was the only way she knew how to speak.
© Manu Saunders 2010