A God’s First Love

An ancient tale of Mesmua, written by Lesedi Ukaleq.

Everyone speaks of their gods as if they are something to fear. Truly, what an unfortunate life to live, always afraid of a divine child who tantrums if she does not get the attention she craves. God is not a woman. It is known. He is a man, and his name is Ulios, and he is older than time itself.

For millenia, he lived on his own. This might seem like such a long time to a mortal human, but for Ulios, a human lifespan is but a second in his eternity. For a millenia, he entertained himself by building hundreds upon thousands of stars to light up the sky, and hundreds upon thousands of planets to keep them company. Ulios was proud of his work, but something was missing from them all, he knew, for some unnameable thing was missing in his own heart.

He came to this part of the sky, devoid of any stars or planets, and created our sun, followed by Earth and its eight neighbors, all of it beautiful despite the unrest in Ulios’s heart. Then he did something he had never before done: Ulios descended to Earth and looked at it closely. He came to the edges of a pool, its waters still as glass. When he looked into it, he discovered his appearance for the first time, and found that it was good.

The god then stepped away, and looked at the rest of the world he had created. The stories do not say what it was about Earth itself that revealed the weight of silence when it had not touched Ulios in the entirety of his life, but the land was quiet, devoid as yet of life, and Ulios found that he was dismayed.

All that was visible to even his divine eyes was an endless sea of soil, the top layer already growing dry from the heat of the newborn sun. He knelt, surprised at how cool the dirt felt beneath his knees despite the barrage of warmth hitting the ground. With his very hands, he began to dig into the dark soil, piling it up in a shape most familiar. It was not the same as he, no, for creation itself was too vast and beautiful to create the same thing twice. Yet as he crafted, he found it began to take his image, for he could not stand the idea of silence anymore.

He worked for one long day and one long night, and when the sun again rose, he found his work nearly finished. Molded from the earth was the figure of the first woman, beautiful, though still ever so silent. Ulios beat the ground beside her with his fists, for although his divine power could make a void reject its true nature, it did not know how to create breath. He pounded the earth, and as he did, divine power sprawled like veins across the land. The soil north of the still woman crystallized into sand as the creative potential within was recalled to its master, pooling in the soil beneath his distraught fists.

When the pool of divine power grew enough to touch the figure of the still woman, it was as if she were the opposing magnet to Ulios’s might. The divinity rushed into her, and she took in her first breath. As she sat up, Ulios stopped beating the ground beside her, stunned at his creation. When she spoke, it was to say her name, and her voice was like a song.

“My name is Zytia,” she said. “I call myself human.”

And Ulios wept for gladness.

He fell in love with Zytia immediately, as surely as rocks are rough. To pass the time, they traveled across the world that now belonged to Zytia. Ulios used his divine power to make the world more beautiful. From his hands sprang oceans and canyons, mountains and plains. Yet his was not the only hand of creation. Zytia had claimed some of Ulios’s own divinity in her creation, and found that her hands could build what Ulios’s could not: life itself. With Ulios’s help, Zytia formed trees to rustle when the wind blew, birds to sing in the morning, crickets to chirp at night.

Everywhere they went, she showed her love to her maker by killing the silence for him. And he, to show his love to the mighty woman, embraced mortality. They spread humankind across the world, formed new landscapes for them to live within and new creatures for them to interact with. Though the universe remained silent, the noise that came from the world emanated into the dark sky, echoing across the stars.

Sadly, it is not within a god’s nature to be still for long. While Zytia found herself growing older and wishing to settle, Ulios found himself wanting to explore this new form of creation he had not realized he possessed. And Zytia, loving the god as she did, did not wish for him to remain unhappily on earth. She gave him her blessing, thanking him for the world and companions he had given her.

The god ascended into the sky once more, leaving his beautiful creations to their own devices so that he might create more life throughout the galaxies.

So when disaster strikes, know it is not because of Ulios’s wrath, for he had nothing but love for his creations on earth. He gave the earth to Zytia and all of her descendants, but Zytia was not made to be divine, and her power dwindled with time passing. Still, all mothers hold remnants of Zytia’s divine power when they create life in their wombs, and all fathers hold remnants of Ulios’s divine power when they build houses and cities for their mothers and children to live in. Such is the gift Ulios gave the world when he gave life to Zytia. Be glad, for it is beautiful.


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