EARTH RISING

Prelude

Gary and I joined the Mars mission. It’s a special mission, not at all like previous exploratory ventures. I always wanted to travel to the stars.

Peacham_018

Because of all the health problems I’ve had, I thought it could never happen.

Suddenly, more or less out of the blue, this mission came up. NASA said they were looking people like us, who have arthritic, heart, and other aging issues, but have retained a strong sense of adventure. The space doctors want to see if Mars’ reduced gravity will improve the quality of our lives and hopefully, increase our longevity.

Couples were welcomed — preferred. Garry and I found ourselves trying to pack our memories into little space trunks. After a lifetime of experiences, we will abandon Earth’s blue-green shores.

NASA has made it clear. We will never return to Earth. The trip is too long — for us — to travel both directions. Science fiction notwithstanding, warp drive never became real. It would have made a  huge difference in the entire concept of the trip.

When I think about it, I’m not sure we would need to come back anyway. Most of our friends and family are gone. Adventure awaits! It is one of the biggest ironies of aging that our souls do not grow old, but our bodies do.

This is the ultimate soul food — a journey into the unknown. The chance to be pioneers and maybe change the world.


HOME ON THE RED PLANET

Mars. Different sky. This planet has but two seasons, albeit in limited areas near what we would call the equator. Spring and fall. Summer is broiling and only occurs at the poles, as does winter. Mars’ winter makes the worst winter we ever experienced in New England look like nothing.

72-DF_Garden_40

Few flowers and they are not like those we’ve known and loved. Fauna comes in strange shapes and odd colors.

There are forests, sort of. Martian trees grow in abundance. These trees have stems without bark. They are smooth with leaves like fronds. In the Martian autumn, they turn magenta and blue. Gaudy for sure, but I miss the gold, orange, and red of an Earth autumn.

Woods on the side

There is no grass though the pink sands are beautiful in their way. The ground is not alive. It forms a bed for growing things, but it is inert.

I do not miss full gravity. I feel light and springy, and my arthritis and other joint problems are gone. This is better than stumbling into old age on earth.

We all miss green. Trees, grass, even weeds, and crabgrass. Mars has no birds. There are plenty of ground animals. Many burrowing things that look (and act) like squirrels. But nothing flies through the air. Maybe the atmosphere is too thin.

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I yearn for the crisp snap of an October morning. To be fair, even on earth when I was away from the northeast, I missed fall.

There are no breezes that rustle the treetops or wildflowers in fields. No dandelions, violets, or spiderwort. Most of all, I miss blue skies though I may eventually grow to love mauve.

96-SunriseWalkNIK-CR-1

I miss oceans with tides and waves. These oceans are smooth as glass, like huge mill ponds and full of the weirdest looking water-dwelling critters you can imagine.

Breezes do not rustle the treetops and winds blow only during storms. Those winds are wild and powerful. You won’t see a field of wildflowers, dandelions, violets, or day lilies. Or anything like it.

72-Sunrise-Peacham-Monday_012

Mostly, I miss blue skies and white clouds. Mauve is okay, and I don’t hate it, but I never stop being shocked when I look up to see that warm, dusty pink. Never a cloud rolls by.

Mars is our new world. Different. But we can make a home here. It will be good.


Interplanet Janet



Categories: Fiction, Flowers, Nature, Sci Fi - Fantasy - Time Travel

Tags: , , , , , , ,

28 replies

  1. Book two places for me and Mr. swiss, like the sound of that planet

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  2. My sister, as a teen, used to say that all old people should be shot off into space. Now that she is experiencing arthritis and the other aches and pains of advancing age I think she’d still be for it but for an entirely different reason. 🙂 As for me I’m attached to my home planet. I’d love to visit you on Mars but I think I’d always want to come home to this bad old Earth.

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  3. I miss Earth too 😦 But I do like being springy. That sounds nice, almost like being a kid again. the other day I tried to skip like I did when I was a child, and found that my muscles couldn’t do it anymore.

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  4. You wouldn’t want to come back :-). I would go in a heartbeat, always knew I would. So far nobody has asked, but I am ready if they do :-).

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  5. It’s great that you get to live the rest of your lives without the encumbrances of arthritis

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  6. Wonderful writing! It’s safe to say that I’m already in vested in you and Garry’s Martian adventures! Love the details and your overall style. ✪

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  7. So glad they have computers and internet on Mars! I got scared for a minute that you and Garry would be part of the growing list of my blogging friends who have disappeared recently.

    Of course, now it will be a little harder for me to come visit you.

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  8. Wishing you a safe adventure!

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  9. But…. but Elton John said Mars was cold as hell! 🙂

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  10. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    LOVELY SHOT!!!! FROM THE NEXT BRIDGE OVER???

    Like

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