Letters to Lelia – Letter Nine – Just Being (excerpt)


Remember the expedition to the Eta Carinae nebula? You and your classmates must have been four or five, just starting the plant genetics introductory class, and Sarah thought it would be a wonderful idea to send you on a little field trip to make observations about one of the planetoids’ various climatic zones and maybe bring a few plants back to the lab for study.

For some reason the transportation solenoid missed us and we got stranded on that little low gravity planet while everyone else got back to Terra Two. I was uncomfortable, as you can tell I’m not that great with children, and wished Sarah had accompanied you guys there instead. I expected you to start crying and wrecked my mind trying to figure out what to say to comfort you, but you didn’t. You looked around, in the blue light of the twilight, turned to me and said:

“The atmospheric readings indicate the O2 concentration is diminishing, maybe we should synthesize some from Morossun plant leaves while we wait for the transport.” I could never look at you and see a child after that.

You see, I always watched you among your friends, playing, laughing, and acting like any other five year old, and never realized until that moment what it meant for you to be half cloud.

We live extraordinary lives here, and this comes with adjusting to circumstances and cultures very unlike our own. Whether you like it or not, your very existence is a cultural bridge, one that neither side completely understands.

People have gotten into the habit of bringing me their problems and questions, the rank of Mother Superior, as rarely as I use this title, comes with the assumption that I have the answers to people’s questions, so it is very easy for me at times to slip into an easy answer for something I don’t understand, just because I’m expected to.

I don’t want to make this mistake with you, and for that reason I will not give you any advice. Your sister talks to me on occasion about things that happened in the Simplex Cloud, about splitting herself between focus clusters, and she speaks of it so naturally it gives me the chills sometimes. The truth is us humans, even with Purple’s help, are not prepared to comprehend the expansion of consciousness the clouds are capable of. I can only hope you will find your environment exciting enough to keep you looking forward to each day.

(From Letters to Lelia – Letter Nine – Just Being)