the echo of an ancient god

I am the echo of an ancient god, my monuments long crushed to dust. But my followers thrived, for thousands of years, long before your calendars began. You know nothing of me, or my people–or so you think.

My followers spoke my many names, and brought me offerings of fruit and meat. They were good people, raising beautiful children in sunny valleys. Singing their stories in the night air, by the warmth of the fire.

In a way, you were there. You scurried and squeaked, and stole bites from the food on my alter. Even then, your kind sought the companionship of other species. Some of our children kept you, as cherished pets. You trilled when scratched behind the ears, and left gifts of dead dragonflies. You heard the stories of my people, but you did not understand.

I thought I was the strongest force of nature, but I was wrong. I could not save my people. When they perished, my body, too, eventually faded away to nothing. I miss it–my first, true body, in the form of my worshipers–my crown of feathers, and my massive tail.

I thought time itself would end, then. But it did not. My spirit, broken, wandered for what seemed like eternity. Slowly I started to notice, once again, the landscapes I passed by. The world would sometimes surge with life, other times be largely barren, and then it would all start again.

I started to accept the cycle of life. I started to care for these creatures, even though they were not my people, and I knew they would not last forever. Some had the beautiful feathers of my people, and lived in sunny valleys.

One day I looked a creature in the eye, a being that stood on 2 legs, as my people had long ago. I had never seen its like, and yet, there was something familiar.. And then I knew. The playmates of my children had become this. And, though you had not understood the stories of my people, you sang stories as well. Perhaps some impression still lingered, somehow, through the ages.

The more I listened, the more I cared. And, strangely, I started to feel the sun again. I became solid again, but I was no god. For a time this saddened me. But as the sometimes fearsome gods of your people started to rise, there were times I was thankful for my anonymity.

My form adjusted over the years, to change as your people changed. I have lived with you since, as one of you, except that I do not bear children, and I do not die. I do not know if there are others like me. I do not know if I will outlive you.

I only know that life is all around me, and I try to celebrate it all, past, present and future. I miss my people, but I try not to mourn too often or too long. Perhaps in some way, they have lived on, as well. I do not understand why I am here now, but I am thankful for each day.

I tell you these things knowing you will not find me, and you will not know my true name. But I am here, the echo of an ancient god.

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