“Whew! Is it just me, or is it hot in here?” asked Mother Earth, mostly to herself. She’d been hot before, of course, but this seemed terribly sudden.
Mother Earth is no spring chicken, she’s middle-aged and she’s seen and done an awful lot in four billion years. She remembers all too well the bombardment she put up with during childhood, and those dreadful adolescent years with constant skin eruptions of hot lava. “So the temps are up a bit, no big deal.” She shrugged and shifted her warm shawl of atmosphere downwards, pulling cooler air from one side of the arctic.
A passing cloud overheard her mutterings and chimed in, “Maybe it’s those, you know, little crawly things that you’ve let run around.” Mother Earth was not sure which little crawly things that cloud had in mind; she’d given birth to so many children–trillions and trillions–far too many to give names or to remember. Her life-support system was perfectly designed: use life to nourish life–a no-waste, leave no trace approach we might call “zen-like.” “Oh, Come on,” she replied tartly, her irritation at the heat betraying a trace of impatience in her voice. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
A bubbling creek joined in. “Don’t be dismissive, Mother,” the creek gurgled, “that cloud can see and feel what’s going on. Things are indeed heating up; what are you up to?” Creeks are by nature suspicious; one day happily drifting along and within a week all dried up. “Settle down, now,” her voice softened, “it will all be okay.”
Mother Earth had in fact noticed the little, bipedal crawly things. In practically no time they had spread to nearly every coastline of her oceans and well inland on her large continents. At middle-age stress builds up; we all have our faults, and from time to time Mother Earth moved into a more comfortable position. This is when she noticed the little, crawly things; their growing nests easily caught fire and emitted strange gasses that reminded her uncomfortably of that swampy smell she put up with for millions years. “The life-support system is on auto-pilot; the plot gets written as it happens. As to the wacky sub-plots of the little, crawly things, I can’t be bothered.”
“Look, I’ve got a whole eco-sphere to manage!” She huffed loudly to nothing in particular, her breath propelling a polar ridge nearly to the equator. She felt ready to move on. “How they use the nourishment I provide is up to them. I’m not into micro-management. I’m a big-picture kinda gal!” She’d felt the same way about the Saurians of 65-million years ago, convinced as they were that size matters. As we all know the tiny proto-mammal-marsupials inherited the place when the Saurians departed.
Mother Earth learned very long ago that when it comes to longevity, small is the secret. Over billions of years, her life-support system self-perfected brilliant methods of miniaturization, and built bigger from there. Combined with nearly endless time, her system operates at the sub-cellular level with intricate, instantly responding Origami-like folded proteins embodying her innate intelligence. This gives Mother Earth great patience and a tendency towards leniency. All forgiving, Mother Earth loves all her children equally, smallest to largest, without exception,