In spacetime before the First Rising, the Aqueon (now known as Earth) was only made up of the seas and skies. The Great Serpent emerged from the deep Aqueon waters and clawed its way onto the lands. The hails of soil it sent flying into the sky turned into clouds while the holes it left on the ground formed valleys and lakes.
The Aqueon waters seeped into the cracks of the earth and gave life to the land – sprouting plants that touched the atmosphere. The blessed water collected in the footprints of the Great Serpent, creating muddy mounds that would form creatures both big and small, with feathers, fur, scales, wings, legs, eyes, horns, hair, teeth, fins. The hum of this brave new world grew steadily as life flourished.
Upon hearing this rich sound booming through spacetime, the Moon turned to find the source of the vibrant melody. There had never been any sound in spacetime before, making it the first time Moon had felt the sense called Hearing. And so Moon shifted its body with great might and desperation, finally facing the pale blue glow of Aqueon.
Moon had been all alone in spacetime, too far away to speak to Sun, too slow and heavy to run like Stars. But when Moon saw Aqueon, there was overwhelming feeling deep inside Moon. An aching, ripping, gnawing gravitational pull that could not be named, one that is felt between lovers meeting again after years of separation, of a soldier trudging home from a long war. This feeling boiled and burst out as tears, becoming the first rain to fall on Aqueon.
The tears of the Moon plinked like chimes in the wind as they met Aqueon’s soft face. Their ghostly sheen casted spots of light in the dark forest, catching the eyes of its inhabitants. The creatures of the earth crawled closer inch by inch, their deep growls daring each other to make the first move to snatch the tears. Scratch, scratch, scratch. The forest of ears pricked up as they heard and eventually saw the Pangolin poke its head out of the ground.
Pangolin gathered the tears with its long claws and wrapped itself tightly around them as the other animals raced toward Pangolin, kicking, screaming, biting, knocking, hitting, ripping until eventually they gave up one by one. See, you need to have hard scales like me to survive in this world, Pangolin cooed to the glowing gems. You’ll get eaten in an instant if you stay this soft, Pangolin muttered, I’ll bury you underground so you can be hard like the earth. The tears were then hidden away in the dark belly of Aqueon, growing harder and stronger as the days passed by.
Swan walked by one day, and dug around the earth to find something to eat. Ouch ! Whatever hit me better be tasty, or else, Swan grumbled as it dug deeper in the ground. The unearthed tears winked at Swan, their hard surfaces reflecting Swan’s own face. Swan gasped in delight and scooped up Moon’s tears in its wings, flying away to its pond. It is a sin for beautiful creatures like you to be in a place like that, Swan fussed while shining each tear with its feathers. I see the light inside of you, it is old magic. Ethereal creatures like us should be celebrated and worshipped. Beauty, romance, magic – these are the joys of life -. With every polish, each tear turned a different shade of the rainbow, mirroring the galaxies they came from.
As Swan went about swimming and basking in the sun, the Lotus cradled the tears and sang them lullabies. Day and night, Lotus sang to them, played with them and taught them the ways of the world. The tears listened to Lotus, laughing and crying together as time passed. The tears were grown now, each one with eyes that spoke a thousand languages, tongues carrying honey and milk, hair that flowed like the rolling plains. Lotus carressed their faces and lead them to the heart of Aqueon, the Mangrove forest.
This is my final lesson to you children, it is a gift from the Great Serpent that has passed down from generation to generation among us plants. This is our legacy on Aqueon, Lotus said, the pride in its voice enveloping the dark forest like a thick fog. Go below, you will find it there. The tears crouched down and found the network of Mangrove’s roots. Each root bulb blinked up like a sky of fireflies, the patterns of light signalling secrets of ancient times to one another in a language only they understood. The roots spread far and wide under the entirety of Aqueon, learning, watching and listening as the world breathed through the days and nights. The tears held firmly onto the bulbs and emanated the same light from Mangrove’s bulbs. The entire Mangrove lit up like a thousand Suns, and from the mouths of the tears, flowers began to spill. Petals, stems, pistils, leaves, thorns, buds kept tumbling out – their sweet fragrance blossoming throughout Aqueon.
The tears laughed with joy and began to climb up Mangrove’s trunks, playing and giggling together as they made their way to the top of Mangrove. They sat amidst the sea of leaves, and looked up at Moon. They cried out for Moon, and Moon turned to face Aqueon for the second time in its life. Moon said, my children how big you have become ! Has Aqueon been kind to you all these years ? The tears danced and sang with pride, telling stories of Pangolin who gave them strength and grit, Swan who showed them magic and beauty, Lotus who gave them love and knowledge, and Mangrove who taught them to create and give life. Moon cried and blessed these creatures, giving them the honour of raising her tears for the ages to come. The tears joined hands and their hearts joined in accord as they decided to call themselves gen, which we now call woman. This is how woman came to be.