Dedicated to Ray Bradbury for his 100th birthday
A new voyager from Earth. The Mars Polar Lander is yet a small star in the pale sky of Mars, but approaching. An other discoverer, a new envoy, the next expedition, without men for now. Its aim is to study the area around the polar snow caps.
The biggest chance of life is right here, at the border of the dry sand and the glittering snow and ice. Maybe on the surface, or just below it. If we need to, the machines will dig and drill. Nothing can hide from them.
The Mars Polar Lander was preparing to land. The computer took out the landing protocol, new programs began to run, the probe falling slowed down.
Everyone on Earth at NASA headquarters was watching intently, for now, everything was fine, the probe was approaching nicely its destination, the surface of Mars, which might hide life under.
Then something unexpected happened.
The probe disappeared in an instant. No explosion, no flame, no fire showed what could have happened. The Earth received no more signals, the camera image suddenly vanished, the radio signals of the probe also disappeared, there was no answer to any earthly call.
Below under the thin, yellowish air, scattered by veil clouds there stood the martians.
Sudden, thin, translucent shapes they were, almost non-touching the surface, rather floated above it, their shape sometimes more obscure, sometimes quite definite. They were looking up, to where an earthly structure flew a few moments ago, and where there was nothing now but the memory of the curiosity of earthly people.
But up, above, all the way up, a blue sphere hung almost invisibly, but they knew, all they knew down there, that the earthlings would not give up, again and they will try again, with more and more delegates, machines and more machines, but sooner or later there will be people on those ships as well.
And as long as those people come with guns and machines to dig and plow the sacred surface of Mars and plundering its treasures, they cannot come here until then. They still have a lot to learn. But there are those who will teach them, there are who have already told them much about this other world.
They should learn about that not everything is ore, rock and clay. Made of metal and plastic. That the world is about much more than energy, matter, space and time. The world is much more poetry, much more mathematics, the Universe is the Symbols and the Universe is the Feelings. And even the empty space is full of poems to be written, with stories, tales, wise spirit beings. These all cannot be seen on earth with eyes, not with binoculars or microscopes. Openness of heart and mind need to add.
But they shall learn it as we have learnt too. We tell, write, paint it them. And if it’s hard, because they’re stubborn disciples, but once they will accept it too. Then their eyes will open and see everything without a dim mirror.
Then they will be free to come, and we will welcome them. The ancient gates of martian cities will open, thousand years memories will greet them, art, inspiration and miracle.
Dark we are and golden-eyed.
Nyíregyháza, August 22, 2020.