This is a story, almost forgotten but up to this day kept alive, by those who know.
Once - long before humankind conquered the world, way before dinosaurs roamed the endless wilderness of our planet, there was a time that is known as the age of the Gaia.
The Gaia were truly humble beings, living gently within the plurality of all life, with diffident curiosity and profound pleasure exploring the wild diversity of the earth. Their hearts were pounding on beat with nature, when they climbed the icy tops of grey, were floating in the sweet and salty blue and wandered through vast green. They bloomed within rain, grew within sun and rested within grass. And when the bright, warming luminary we call the sun, was set to descend from the frame of light blue, the Gaia gathered for their ritual. After they shared all the wonders they experienced in the glance of light, they celebrated together the sighting of the stars. They were fascinated by the pure crystalline white, forming the endless dark, they feared like nothing else, into a universal biosphere.
If they could ever reach them.
It was in such a moment, when their world was shaken. Right in the middle of the Gaia, suddenly appeared another being. Sliding gently like only the water could do, shimmering in a cornucopia of colors, leaving a scent of sweet freshness. From within she glanced like the ascending sun and only the stars matched the deep white of her eyes. She was the Mother of all Living and she came to call for help.
She lives deep inside the ground, in a place known as the Source. It is the place she gives birth to all life and usually, she would never leave it. But the Source was in danger. The Darkness was spreading, a perpetual obscurity no life could grow in. If the Darkness would reach the Source, it would fall, the Mother of all Living would die and all life would live it’s last life. She was not strong enough to fight the Darkness alone, only the joint force of life could contain it.
The Gaia, who feared to be a apart from the sight of stars and fresh air, still decided to join the Mother, because they couldn’t bear the thought of leaving the ground, their home to the Darkness. Together with the Mother of all Living they descended deep down and reached the Source, just in time. Their collective desire to live, condensed into a light, like only the sun at her highest point could breed was enough, not only to hold back the Darkness but transform it into nothing but dead stone, forever banned deep into our soil. The Source was safe. Life could continue to evolve.
But at what cost?
To save Life, they gave their own. The fight against the Darkness, far from even the tiniest sunbeam, deep down in the cold gloom of the underworld and the steady nostalgia of seeing the stars, took away the vital energy of the Gaia. Without the scent of fresh grass, the wild rushing of rivers and the gentle glint of their beloved luminaries, their spirits deserted like a slowly drying fountain. They withered away like dried-out flowers, henceforth the Source was covered in brown soil. The Mother of all Living mourned, like she does for every life that comes to an end. She can give life, but she does not possess power to save it.
That is for every life to burden.
Some might say, in that moment the age of Gaia was over. But that is far from true. The Gaia shared their name with everything they felt attached to. And before they crumbled into soil, they passed their name to the Mother of all Living, she became the last Gaia. And like no other being on this earth, the Mother of all Living has a sense for the force of life. The Gaia turned into soil, but there was just a whiff of vividness left. As the last of their name, she wanted to honor them. She collected all the soil and descended even deeper, towards the place she found her own life. The Origin, a river of absolute purity and sheer benevolence. She washed the soil in the river, formed little spheres and planted the seed of life within. She could not revive the Gaia, but at least she could give back, what they have always been - being a part of Life itself. She brought the spheres to light and spread them all over the earth.
The Gaia adored the wonders of nature, since then - they are one of them. Drifting towards the sky, with every fiber of their being, stretching a bit closer to the eternal shimmer of the stars.
And if you ever wondered, why trees are growing upwards. Now, you may have an answer.