It comes as an exhaustive relief that making the voyage to Mars is not only my Daisy List*.
[Written weeks ago under a baby blue sky, no vapour trails but cartoon clouds on the warmest day of the year.]
Sitting by a well stocked stretch of water with bees bobbing into every blackberry bud and the blue haze of damsel- & dragonflys billowing with each turn of a page, birds engaging in genial chatter and, too early in the day to bother much about anything, the geese resisting all inclination to honk their presence. This deep, restorative peace is almost overwhelming.
Yet, Life teams and pulses all around.
Contrast the earnestly eerie, empty silence of Mars?
NASA’s images which its roving lander Perseverance wafts across the 217 million miles separating the planets in 19 minutes (tiens, eh ben dit donc), make me weep.
Life, teaming gush of unending cascade, seems tangibly absent in desolation of shattering void.
If you squint amid the Red Planet’s ochre vibrations, are you also shaken by what absence-of-life looks like? No blue sky, no pulsing verdance, neither dawns nor dusks, never blossoms in blooms or birds in song. Nor can imagination, kindness, joy or wonder penetrate the dense, unyielding vacuum.
Exploration is in our DNA, the bold will go and stretch further filigrees of enquiry. Thank goodness their bravery allows me to remain here to gaze through the green at crushingly exquisite glory of this planet.
It makes me so thankful for the barely credible co-incidence that perfect distance from our star enables dark matter to manifest itself materially as Life: by which I mean consciousness.
* dismal expression of Bucket List more cheerfully captured as Daisy List.