The earth has its music for those who will listen,
Its bright variations forever abound;
With all the wonders that God has bequeathed us,
There is nothing that thrills like the magic of sound.
– George Santayana
Worship of nature and the Earth is humanity’s oldest religion. Before Jehovah, Zeus and the now-nameless gods of the people of Lascaux, someone looked up at the sun and the stars, wondered what they were, and searched for answers. Someone looked around and observed leaves dying in the autumn and the miraculous, ever-present return of life in the spring, and wondered if there was a higher power out there that made it happen. Even today, with our science and our societal agnosticism, we still look up on cold nights at the Milky Way or at a grand valley from the top of a tall mountain and feel that sense of ancient, breathless wonder our ancestors must have experienced.
Every human that has ever lived has looked up at the stars from their home standing on Earth and has wondered the same things from the same perspetive. In the future, though, when we stretch out to the stars, colonize the planets and the asteroids and the galaxies, when humans exist independent of the Earth upon which we evolved, what is that perspective going to look like? What is Earth going to look like from outside? How is that ancient drive going to translate to someone who has never breathed the air of their ancestral home?
In answer to that question, Third Order is excited to present Jaime Babb’s evocative, arresting story, “The Weight of Years.”
We’ve got a wonderful slate of posts for December. Stay tuned for an interview with Babb later this month, where we’ll talk about the inspiration for this story as well as other wonderful things. We’ll also discuss ancient faiths, creationism vs. evolution, stories and novels that touch on nature religions and modern takes on the Gaia myth and nature worship. Expect a few other author interviews about what it’s like to write religion into your stories, Star Wars and more!
Read Jaime Babb’s “The Weight of Years” here, and talk about it in the comments section below. As always, Third Order is consistently open for submissions and publish stories on Third Order monthly or when we run into something we simply can’t resist.