Sorry … we haven’t tried to talk to ground-shakers before. Well, that’s what we call you, I think you use the word people? Humans? It’s rather funny to finally be trying this. It’s interesting, as long as we can remember, we never knew what caused all the shaking and why it didn’t regularly. We knew there was a pattern, but it was hard to figure out. We think part of the challenge for us – you call it time – life moves differently.
At first, we began to call the sounds you make clomping and stomping, which of course meant you would be known as clompers and stompers! That was a funny joke for sometime, but eventually we noted these sounds were a sign, not the destination, or maybe more clearly the symptom, not the cause. It took sometime – many of the sun’s rotation – to finally recognise that these sounds were being caused by you. Even then, it was hard to comprehend. You are so much … larger? Girth-filled? You certainly take up more space, yet there are fewer of you then me, sorry, you would say us.
When we finally recognised the bigness of you, we also began to get a sense of your nest – you call it a church? Every repeatable time, like a good colony, you arrive, gather, mingle, make harmony, listen and then leave. We are not sure why you only come to this space in the manner you do, or where you go after, but we have come to understand it is important to you. You tend for the nest with such care – we admire that commitment. You have kept the stone true and the bell loud. Your industriousness is to be admired.
What we struggled with – and this is why we are finally talking to you now – is that we did not understand your separateness, or what seemed to be your isolated nature or connexion from one another. We have had to figure you out by what you do, in order to understand what you say. We usually use smells and clicks and such, so obviously you seemed sort of incomprehensible for sometime. What confused us, in particular, was that you didn’t talk together but at one another and often individually. There did not seem to be a collective to what you did and so we were unsure how you made meaning when you all gathered.
What finally allowed us to translate your sounds, as your smells remain most mystifying, was the last gathering when you stomped across the dead tree planks. First you were communing about the nests survival and what new things you need to do about that. Some of your smells changed then, even some of your sounds got louder, and for a little while there was a tightness to the air. After that you began your harmony making and unison speaking. Then there was a crying sound. We are not sure what you were doing, but one of your little ones was being wetted with water. You did your unison speaking and the tightness ended. Somehow that ritual you did altered the smells and you seemed focused on the larva.
That’s when we began to understand you a little more – you seem like you do not have a Queen or meaning that binds your colony. Then maybe we thought it was the nest that was your purpose – hence the tightness. But when you did the water ritual thing with the larva, we knew you were like us. Well, similar.
You come together to make the best larva so the next can continue to keep the colony alive. Sometimes the nest can seem more important, but we move a lot. Weather changes, you dig those big holes where bodies go, snow freezes us, but we move on, always finding new places to keep the colony abundant. You do it differently – and on a much larger scale – but for the same reason.
We hope we have understood you well enough – we think we have enough in common, that our collectives might benefit from a chance to parley. We think you may need to smell better, to understand us more – though our clicks are important, smells tell more. We hope this makes sense to you and maybe you will include us when you gather next in the nest …