I went back to the homeworld again yesterday. Back to the temple at Ikaatinen. I try and visit once a month to help with the maintenance and repair jobs that the priest, Mr. Jatai, can't do himself. He pays me in advice, which is frankly the best thing he could possibly give me. It's good advice.
Our conversation was... rambling. And interrupted when some kids came up to the temple. Three of them, two boys and a girl.
It occurred to me that I don't know many kids. There's my niece Atra of course, but she's basically a baby. And there's Camille, but she's not exactly a typical child. Not like these three.
Children who've not known the life of a capsuleer, who grew up under a sky and don't really know or care about the wars in heaven, or which faction's flag flies from the government buildings. If Camille attended church, it'd be out of some intellectual, serious decision that she ought to. These kids just love to visit the temple because the priest is a nice old man with an endless supply of sweets and cool stories.
One of the boys was Gallentean, by ethnicity. Learning Caldari traditions on the Caldari homeworld where he was born. Rattling away in Napaani because that's his native language. Caldari in everything other than his genes, basically.
and Mr. Jatai is an excellent storyteller. I've heard the story of the man who fooled the wood spirit a dozen times, of course, but... not like that. Not with a cup of tea, on a cool spring evening, in a temple, with snow on the distant mountains, pine needles blowing in the door and a very, VERY good storyteller who did the voice of the Tengu in a way that even had me giggling.
It... made me nostalgic. For a childhood that wasn't even mine.