Earth and Sky

These brief paragraphs were found among some artifacts of the Elder Folk. They appear to have been written by a woman and may be a fragment from a journal or a letter. 


We didn’t always live in houses that float above the earth. My grandmother says that her grandmother lived on the ground as a child and she used to tell stories, but they have been lost. I have tried to imagine what it would be like to live on the earth, and it’s hard.

There is a large boulder I can see from my window, and I imagine that it is a house sitting on the ground. It seems so vulnerable. In the springtime, the river expands to cover it. In the dry times of year, animals can walk right up to it. They climb up and sleep in the sun. Would they climb on houses? That would be strange indeed.

When the storms come, our houses in the sky sway and drift, but the boulder and the trees on the ground don’t move. How did houses on the ground stay still? I suppose they would have to have been flat on the bottom, but what made them stay put? Did earth houses have roots like the trees?

Animals and weather notwithstanding, the earth may be a safer place to live in some ways. Falling is certainly less dangerous when you start out closer to the ground. I sometimes think that taking care of children must have been so much easier. No child from our village has Fallen in living memory, but it is still every mother’s and aunt’s and older sister’s greatest worry. Greater than fire, greater than bathwater, greater than illness. We are haunted by the Fall. Sometimes when the straps of the sling dig into my shoulders or the toddler is restless on my hip, I envy the women who lived on the earth, who could set their babies down safely, without fear of the Fall.