After the heat of the day, the cool night air feels refreshing. As I sit back on the outlook rock, I realize I am surrounded by the important elements of this planet: mineral deposits, water flowing in the cavern below, soil and plant life and the clean, unfiltered air that I breathe. But there is another important element to this planet – the indigenous people.
Turning to Elder sitting next to me, observing the darkened landscape, I ask, ”Did Mayta create the Bormeas?”
There is a moment of silence before he peers at me. ”You have asked a question that’s been debated and plagued us over the many generations since the Bormeas came upon us. Whether Mayta did create them or not is unknown — I feel. What’s more important to accept is that she allowed them to invade our lives. It is a means of testing us and forcing us to grow stronger.”
Elder breaks his look and returns his attention to the wilderness in front of us. Down below us in the inky blackness of deep shadows comes the hoots and cries of various critters. A quiet breeze curls around the edge of the outcropping, bringing with it the scented remnants of our evening meal.
“So deep is this evil,” Elder continues, “it will forever impact the generations that come after us. Even if we overthrow the Bormeas tomorrow, our lives and this world have been changed forever. There are mixed people now, like yourself,” Elder adds, glancing over his shoulder at me, “who have no idea where they belong and what their identity is.”
I shift uncomfortably under his gaze. Attempting to make it appear that the rock seat is the source of my discomfort, I stretch out my legs in front of me.
Elder examines the rock on which we’re perched and rubs the tips of his fingers over its worn surface. “How do you raise children, offspring, when you can’t even see clearly and don’t know what role you play in their lives? Yet, so many do this every day and pass their directionless view of life on to their children, the next generation. It’s inevitable that we pass on our hopes and dreams to our children. It used to be we passed on the tradition of caring for what Mayta gave to us, but that got lost over the generations. Now only a few of us hold on to it as our one hope for a better life, for a restoration of what once was.”
“Are you supposed to destroy them?” I ask, returning the subject back to the Bormeas.
Elder sighs, his body sagging under the weight of the question. “I don’t know if that is entirely possible. Though, if I were young again, I would grapple with that with more veracity than I do in this aged time. I think the Bormeas will always be a part of us as an evil to be sure, but one which is necessary to keep us focused, to strengthen our beliefs and to force us to remain steadfast to our daily work.”
“But, if you were rid of them once and for all, you could work at restoring what once was.”
“And then, generations later, forget again and lapse into an unconcerned state once more?” Elder looks at me, a deep crease in his forehead appearing like a black stripe in the dark. “By this means, Mayta uses them to propel us forward — in our pain. I will tell the words as I feel Mayta has told me, ’It is in your struggle here that prepares you for what comes.’”
“What is to come?” I ask, now fully enthralled by his tone.
“The more we struggle here, the stronger we become. When we join the others out there,” Elder pauses, waving to the star-lit sky, “that strength will show in the light that we become. Evil dwells in the darkness. Light gives life to us all. The brighter our light, the less darkness there is to possess by any lurking evil.”