The sunrise was glorious. I stood and stretched the stiffness from my arms and legs. I rolled my head and then I decided to give my hosts a demonstration of Earth culture. I did T’ai Chi in the green space in front of the venerable one. I hoped that it demonstrated some of the aesthetic beauty the human form is capable of.
The mother of the forest watched with quiet interest until I finished. Then she beckoned me with her mind. “Come now, little one. Let us sing the colors of your being for the old one.” With that she turned and addressed the old bird on the perch. “Dear one, hear is the young mother from the starship above.”
“Is it true you come from a distant star to taste the song of our being?” the old one spoke to her mind in the same way the mother of the forest had.
I spoke my answer out loud since I didn’t trust myself to think the answer clearly. “Our race is curious by nature. We travel the universe looking for others to learn from and trade with.”
“Your race has a history of violence against each other and other species. You almost destroyed your world on several occasions. How can we know that you will not bring such sorrow to our nest?” the old one paced back and forth on his perch as he spoke to her with his thoughts. He made a clicking noise with his beak.
“If you know of our history you must have also seen that we have not had a war among our own people in almost two hundred years. We have not started a war with any other race in that time but we have defended ourselves when others have attacked us. We prefer peaceful interactions to violent ones but we will not be victims.” Janice trembled a little bit as she spoke. She had never had any official training for first contact.
The old one paced for several minutes. Then he answered, “I believe that your song is bright. If there is darkness in your race it is hidden from your heart. We do not wish to be known to others in the universe. We have long since explored the universe as far as we have appetite to see. We have turned inward and spend our time exploring the landscapes of our shared soul. It is a far vaster place than the expanses of these physical dimensions. We have taken great pains to not be known by anyone that visits this planet. The hard thing is that our fledgling attacked your ship while in the process of becoming an adult. It is his right of passage if I understand your culture. We did not mean for him to damage your ship but we also do not want our presence here known.”
“I see your predicament.” I said. “We must report what we found here. I would be happy to respect your wishes but there are eighty individuals on our ship. I can not speak for all of them. I can tell you that I have been missed and when I return to the ship I will be asked many questions.”
“I see your predicament as well.” the old one answered. “Eat with us that we may recognize the bonds of our friendship together and we will consider one another’s problems together.”
“As you wish.” I answered.
Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the people you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.