...Some of the best hours in his life, actually, had been spent laying outside on sleeping bags spread out over the ground with North Italy under a blue-black sky full of shimmering stars. Feliciano had turned out to be more of a philosopher than he’d thought — once when he’d asked him why he sometimes spoke to celestial objects as though they were sentient and could hear him, it had lead to a very interesting and thought-provoking conversation.
“Why not? You know, Germany, to most humans we countries are nothing but dead chunks of land that they live on, lines drawn on a map to keep the peace between different groups who don’t speak or look the same way, and who don’t believe in the same things. I think even most of the ones who believe we exist in spirit would never guess we were actually sentient, and walking among them in human form! Well, what if its that way with planets, stars, and moons? If we can be sentient, why can’t they?”
“I suppose they could,” Ludwig had conceded, “But I doubt we could communicate with them, or that we’d even recognize them for what they were if we encountered them. We were created by humans, and our very survival depends on them. As a reflection of their collective consciousness we look, think, act, and speak like them. We couldn’t change that if we wanted to. How would this work for, say, the Sun? It is impossible for life to exist there — how would the Sun develop a sentient spirit?”
“Silly Germany, we’re countries. Of course we need an advanced civilization to exist! But planets and stars — they don’t. They existed before life as we know it. Even if they aren’t able to have life like Earth, why couldn’t they have their own spirits?”
“I’m really glad I was created a nation then,” Ludwig had said seriously, “and not some planet or star way out in the middle of nowhere with no life within light-years. You do realize that star and planet spirits would have lifespans in the billions of years, right? There isn’t much that can destroy them. It would be torture to exist for that long with no life-forms to play among, no purpose. Just sitting in the vastness of space doing nothing except getting hit by comets and meteors."
“I figure they spend most of their lives sleeping,” Feliciano had went on dreamily, gazing up at the Orion constellation as though in a trance, “And only wake up when something exciting happens. They’d be able to teleport, of course, and take any physical form they wished. Also speak in all languages to arise in their solar systems, because they have plenty of time to learn.”
Ludwig had only blinked and continued to stare into the night sky, not really sure what to say to all of that. Sure, it sounded crazy on the surface, and he did wonder at where Italy was getting some of his ideas about what celestial spirits were like when he had obviously never met any, but then, the concept of nations having their own sentient souls did sound crazy too, he was right.
“I’d really like to meet the Sun,” Feliciano had went on, “I think he’d be warm, caring, and gentle. I’d show him how to cook pasta, and he’d show me some of his magic tricks.”
“What makes you so sure the Sun would have a gentle disposition?” Ludwig had asked, “It’s a giant nuclear furnace that sometimes erupts with massive jets of plasma-fire several times bigger than the entire Earth.”
“Don’t you know? According to scientists the Sun is incredibly calm and stable for a star. One of the calmest and most stable they’ve seen. He made life here possible — I figure he’d love us like children and want to protect us.”
“Scientists? I didn’t know you read anything other than cookbooks.”
The statement had elicited a light-hearted chuckle from Italy. “Of course I do! I love cooking, and I love creating art, but they are not the only things I am interested in! Astronomy has always fascinated me.”
“If you’re right about stars and planets having their own spirits, then why haven’t we met any yet? I can see them keeping humans in the dark about what they really are if they visited this world, but why would they hide from us as well? After all, we’d be part of the same family born of the same magic. I would think Earth especially would want to reveal herself to us.”
“I don’t know,” Feliciano had admitted, undaunted, “I’m sure there’s a reason for it.”