As a child, I had a firm belief in spirits. I believed every living thing was possessed by spirits, and nothing wholesome could remain so without their presence; at least nothing worth living for.
There wasn’t an inch of the planet unoccupied by them: From mighty sky spirits who made the sky tremble through joy and wrath alike to woodland spirits prone to the wildest summer celebrations with the most exquisite music one could imagine. Spirits the shade of glacier chips upon the sea, and ones who could blend into the earth: undetectable and right at home. A home that would be taken away from them by humans and we all know how that story goes.
The very humans that had lived alongside the spirits for centuries began to evolve, to learn, and worst of all think themselves superior to nature. They learned of nature’s most closeted secrets and started to use them against nature itself; selfishly, inconsiderately they molded, bent, broke and forced nature to wield to them. Conveniently forgetting about the debts they owed to the nature that had nurtured them since the dawn of mankind, they continued pillaging the earth.
First, the ignored the warnings: so much that there evolved a generation that could no longer decipher the harsh whispering of the woods and nor could they comprehend the wailing of the sea. Then, came forth a generation that did not even know the spirits were in toil. It was mourned, the cursed day that not a single human being acknowledged that the spirits existed much less spoke. It wasn’t their fault. Their ancestors had brought that fate upon themselves and their successors. The spirits mourned their connection lost connection and though ignorant, mankind was not spared the Hiraeth that accompanied the severance of that vital link. The link that had once throbbed with the power of life dimmed, and then went extinct. The first extinction of many to follow.
The evolution of mankind unfolded at a rapid pace. Cities of concrete sprung up, confiscating much of the land once inhabited by both spirits and humans alike. Myriads of spirits were spiteful, resentful and devastated. The land belonged to them just as much as it belonged to the humans. How could the humans desert that which had given life to them? The betrayal had countless trudging away from the vain creatures indignantly. Other understood the need humans had for more. However, they did silently recognize that the more humans progressed, the farther they would become from the spirits. Longingly, they reminisced of the balance that was once maintained, a balance that would likely never return.
So, the humans not only exploited the earth but they also grew careless and disdainful for the threat posed by nature. They chopped down scared forests to burn them for fuel and furniture. Ears deaf, eyes blind and senses muted they could not place the misery of the grief-stricken spirits who had lost their holy places. Spirits who protected the wildlife were forced to either venture deeper into their abode or adapt with this new generation, a toxic and warmongering species. The sea spirits thrashed about restlessly as foreign objects were dumped heedlessly into their territory. What was this new horror that never left the seas never rot like the bodies of dead sailors who had been thrown off or had jumped, unable to survive the war they so loved to wage on each other. No other species was adamant on hunting down itself as this one. The objects continued rising in numbers as well as foul liquids which poisoned fish, colors of the choral dulled by disease.
This aggressive species had destroyed too much of what was gifted to them by whichever deity had formed the world. The spirits of the blazing sun lost contact with the guardian spirits. Conversation lost, the guardians no longer sent back messages through the suns own rays. There were so few of the guardians shielding the earth left, and oh so tired. What little messages came back all murmured the same thing. They couldn’t keep sending rays back and messages were so tiresome. The guardians fought back against the lull of sleep, and tried their hardest to shield the earth to survive, but they knew they would fade away. The poisonous fumes released into the air would end the watchfulness of the guardians, and sooner or later the sun spirits would lose their best companions.
Soon, the turmoil changed into a declaration of war. The frail ancients existed no more. They had faded away into the Otherworld with their brethren leaving behind the vengeful. They had no desire to watch the humans be the ruination of their home. The refused to succumb and fade like their disappointed kin who had longed for reconciliation between the races. War erupted between man and spirit.
The sea spirits thrust storms into the cities that rose arrogantly atop the burial grounds of their ancestors, flooded cities through the seas and rivers. The sky wraiths thundered in displeasure from above, pelting the race with rain and tearing down infrastructure. Forests burned from the wrath of the sun spirits, and the woodland spirits let the trees die for they were dying with the increased demand for lumber. Ice melted; the ancient spirits leaking their very essence into the ocean, which would soon boil like a massive cauldron and spill into the cities. Some places were taunted by empty clouds and barren lands. The water rendered undrinkable because the poison had returned to the humans who had manufactured it, tortured the sea with it.
I kneel here, pleading for the humans to open their eyes. This emptiness inside, this discontent is because we have forgotten the spirits who once danced joyfully beside us. The chaos, the perfection, the balance, all lost because of our desire to leech out every gift we were given. Remember the spirits when another oil spill ravages the ocean, when clouds of ashes appear over towns, when the earth splits apart in rage, when dead fishes lie on the shore.
The spirits are angry.