Gaia the Mother and the Tinderling, Elder of the Forest, meet in a field of high grasses. They discuss the ways of the world and the Mother’s many children who live upon it. The Elder tells the Mother of the health of his Forests, of the vastness of them, of the destruction of so many of them by her children the humans.
They discuss the balance of life on her cosmic womb, the Earth. They discuss ways to bring it back into balance: hurricanes and tsunamis, floods and storms and fires that will remind the humans to respect the Mother, while spreading and planting the seeds of the forests. After such storms there is always new growth, the land cleansed and made fertile by the waters and fires washing over it.
They wonder whether the humans will ever become wise enough, or unselfish enough, to learn to live in harmony with the land and all its inhabitants, their brethren born from the Mother, even when their own numbers are so great. But the Mother and the Elder have the wisdom of the ages, and know that in the end it does not matter.
The Mother and the Forest Elder will live on and on and on, long after the Mother’s many children have come and gone, those with wings, or fins, or hooves, or feet. Her children always go in the end, some faster than others. Such is the way of life. But she is fertile, and always brings new children into the world, because she cannot bear to see it empty of them.
Time is different for these beings, the Mother and the Elder, and this conversation lasts many generations of lifetimes for her children, but only one afternoon for them.