Longing for Gravity
You are on a mission to Mars. Because of the length of of the journey, you will never be able to return to Earth. What about our blue planet will you miss the most?
There may be some who would happily set out on a one-way trip to Mars. It might even be colonised as repository for other nations’ unwanted citizens as Australia was. But I’m not one of the former, and so far I don’t qualify as one of the latter, owing to keeping my head down for 70 years. Although with the advent of our current PM, we can only pray that he doesn’t have a light-bulb moment and ship the old, the unemployed and the terminally ill to far-flung planets to ease the financial burden on his society of choice.
But as things stand, I have no intention of mouldering away, in my declining years, either stuck in a rocket-shaped tin can (however expensive) or traipsing about in a hostile environment, planning how to mess it up as thoroughly as we’ve already messed the one we were given.
So thank you for the thought, but no. I am not on a mission to Mars. My missionary days are long past. I shall continue to enjoy the real-time physical presence of my children and grandchildren, who will all, I’m sure, forgo the fame of being related to a Mars missionary in favour of my annual contributions to Christmas dinner and the odd stint of babysitting.
I shall also continue to read books in their civilised paper form, walk barefoot on the grass, swim in the ocean, smell genuine gardenias in summer and take photos of kangaroos having a kip. And when (inevitably) I die, I shall return to dust in one form or another, and not spin for all eternity as a grotty piece of inter-galactic flotsam.