Eudaemonia (Greek: εὐδαιμονία [eu̯dai̯mo’níaː])
A Greek word commonly translated as happiness or welfare; however, “human flourishing” has been proposed, throughout the evolving history of the English language, as a more accurate translation.


She was singing. The forest was the orchestra of her mind — one enchanting symphony after another as her lush green leaves danced to an unspoken beat. In a world blanketed with iridescent verdure, she stood amongst the clouds; her luminous silhouette seamless yet extended so starkly to each crevice among the trees —her ever-ubiquitous presence. Where lustrous petals of flora freckled the sky, she painted the wind with colours. Where the over-arching vault of leaves and limb flourished with prolific life, she was its pulsing heart.

Amidst the fields of foliage and the smiling lips of fauna, the dulcet tones of aria cascaded into open spaces through the frill of flowers. She smiled, and breaths of life adorned the terrains. The landscape overflowed with potpourris of fruit. Euphonious as it all was, her heart brimmed with more joy when the life she created evolved into something more.
They were strong, intelligent and different from other creations. She saw them laughing, beaming, grinning as they interacted with the animals. She smiled when they started building houses from straws, wood, bricks, then finally, concrete. She smiled as the humans began to forget how dependent they are on her. She smiled through it all — through their exponential reproduction rate, through the escalating clearing of prairie now reconstructed to form fields of grey.
She could hardly see her veins within the trees; only monoliths of concrete soaring out of the sidewalk were at sight. The cityscape was unapologetically urban. Drowned were the sounds of animals masticating on nuts and slurping on berries — they meandered, dug, and disappeared in fear of the superior inhabitants. The evergreens that were once fine saplings with soft spring leaves became gnarled embittered trees, growing tall without strength as they competed unnaturally against the towering apartment blocks. Nature was subjected to the fangs of humanity, turning it insipid, tasteless, incapacitated. Her eyes brimmed with tears as memories of what used to be flashed before her. She felt herself grow colder as her sky was shrouded in mottled grey. She breathed in, and she let it all go.

A great scar of seething light opened the cloud’s center. Writhing and wriggling, great forks of flame-gold zigzagged through the agonised air. Her tears sank into the skins of grey concrete, as the humans stood untouched, protected by the kingdom that they have selfishly built. Not even a thousand days of rain could stop their insatiable flourishing of urbanisation. She could only watch in torment as biodiversity dwindled in number — gone were the first traces of life that stood by her. Distress was swallowing her whole; the anguish that wrecked her entire being was unceasing. In her eyes, there was no beauty in the arrays of buildings colliding in a mixture of shadow and geometry. On her skin, there were only tiny vehicles scurrying along the coarse, tangled lines of asphalt streets. The sea of metropolitan skyscrapers was all intertwined in a cataclysmic mess of a dream — a dream from which she would like to wake up.

The more she watched, the more her frustration morphed into anger. She could no longer comply with their bidding and let them soak in her like a drug. No more! She could no longer spoil them. She should not let them bask in the fresh breeze of spring or the brilliant shades of fall . Even the heat of sultry summer was too good for them.

She needed to remind those humans that she was not there for them; they were there because of her!

Darkness began to cover the earthy landscape as she howled a noise so terrifying it pulsated through all matters. Attacks of lightning burst on the streets. A ghastly orange grin tore through the terrain as she spat unfettered flames to the screaming creatures. Her blood simmering, her brain stewing, and her bones smoldering with the intensity of her wrath. She let the blaze devour everything in sight, licking and enfolding every coppice. She quaked and the sea gorged on life. For a moment everything became silent as fear had transformed intelligible words into searing moans and groans.

Months had passed, but the earth had not forgotten. The terra was scarred by scorched fire as the trees were stripped of their evanescent beauty, leaving only their gaunt, skeletal remains rooted on the barren soil. She was tired. Her outpour of emotions was so intense that she was left empty — drained of the sentiment that once fueled her fury. She needed time, and so she let her eyes close. The breeze lifted the veneer of dirt and grime that clung to the land — a subtle sign that the life below took for a second chance.

Just as fast as the way they collapsed into the ground, other concrete towers stretched out to the sky yet again, reaching out with their pallid, gnarled hands. Though these skyscrapers were just born, the history of their ancestors etched across their bodies like fresh blood. They tried so desperately to latch on to what was left of their once sacred realm.

When she finally woke up from her daze, her eyes could not believe what they were seeing.

More cities. More concrete. More humans!

She stared at them in disbelief; these humans never gave up hope. Her eyes sparkled with awe as the clouds broke apart, reveal its golden-blue glory. Harp strings of coruscant light immersed the meadows in sheets of flaxen, as flora dazzled in the crisp air. Lush green leaves awoke from their slumber, dancing higher and higher in the vast expanse of light blue sky. Life was resonating through every being, and she realised that she should not be looking at it in spite.

She still loved the humans nonetheless.

She hummed quietly and beats of avian wings lilted across the air, serenading the murmur of the vibrant city. Her soft whispers hung suspended in the air, tranquil and mindful.

All was peaceful, all was calm, as it always was before the storm.

Seconds after, pain lanced through her core. Her insides began to twist, intensifying with each jagged breath she took. She tried to keep her eyes open, tried to endure the shooting aches, but with each movement, she quivered — her consciousness ebbing away. Black mists swirled at the edges of her mind, slowly drawing her into dark oblivion. As much as she tried to hold onto life, the pain soared and choked her alive, suffocating her from within. And before she could warn the creatures below, the wound took her far, far away.

A deep bellow of pain roared through the sky. Then it sizzled itself to silence, its searing stilled, its anger quieted.

Reboot. Reset.