“Holder once asked me if the First Ones were the ‘gods’ of my people. When I did not understand him, he said, ‘the ones you believe made you; the ones you worship.’ I have since learned some of what the humans call religion, and yes, I suppose you could say the First Ones are our gods. They are the ones who sang the Sea of Stars into being, who set Evohe itself to spin in space. That is what the Way used to tell our people, although it is a thing most no longer believe. I believe in the First Ones, though. I do not ‘worship’ them in the way I feel the humans use that word, though, nor do I think they would want that. They gave us life as we might give a bloomling a gift–to see the light in our eyes, and the laughter in our smiles as we used that gift to the fullest potential. I do not believe that the humans give their children gifts expecting them to bow and kiss their feet.
That is not what the First Ones expect of us.
But I do thank them for the gifts they give me: I thank them for the food that I eat, the water I bathe in and drink; the sun on my skin, the love of my family and friends, and of Holder, my mate.
I thank them for the desire to be more than I am.
I look around me, at the humans, and those of my own kind, who think that we should not care about any life but our own–who think that there is no higher cause than our own.
I do not and cannot agree with this. There is a Shadow in the world, and while the Shadow has its place in Balance, it is balanced by people’s knowledge that there is a purpose beyond themselves. More and more, people lose that knowledge. More and more, the Shadow gathers. Yet I know the First Ones still watch us, and I ask them for their guidance–for very often, the Shadow falls so much over the world that it is hard to see how best to cast the light that keeps it back.”