ASTRA, AND THE ROSE.
By Carolann Brady
The smell of the rose was profound. It seemed to take over the whole night’s air. Maybe it was the star filled sky on this balmy clear night that made the aroma more succinct.
The sweet scent of summer, in full blossom, encapsulated in one, loan, solitary flower. The softness of its petals, velvet to the touch, and the strength of its stem debunked of thorns, supporting its voluptuous head, which craved to please. An ensemble of beauty that any eye would be enthralled to behold.
And yet, it was found lacking. It did not take away the pain she felt, it did not stop her grieving the loss her heart swooned from. She missed earth. She missed her home world.
She had never wanted to leave it. She didn’t want to be on this rock, this stone shell, in space, between here and nowhere. No days, no nights. No sun, no moon. Nothing! Save the hard, crass, barren rock. No erosion even to cause sand or dust. No air to breath. No water to drink.
Unlike the beautiful blue, green earth with its glorious white caps. Where you could swim in the sea, walk on the shore. Listen to the birds and watch the clouds roll by. How wonderful it was to feel the sun on your back, a light breeze on your face, and even when it rained it was joyous. Every stem of grass had a dewy glow. Every flower welcomed the refreshing drink and every tree stood taller for it. She remembered and enjoyed these moments. She hated recalling why this was no longer so, why this one rose caused her such heartfelt pain.
Her family, her parents thought they had done the right thing. They wanted to save her. They couldn’t escape, they couldn’t leave. But they ensured that she would survive, she would live on. And with her the memory of what this one solitary rose meant. Where it had hailed from, what it stood for. Why it was so profound. Its scent shared more than a sweet aroma. Its velvety petals told more than its touch. It’s beauty. It’s purity. It’s survival.
It told the tale of an Earth that thrived and breathed. A place where everything was taken for granted. A place where nothing lasted forever! It told of great loss, great despair, and great sadness. It said that everything of beauty was worth striving for, was worth saving. And that this could only be done by working together, by sharing, by caring; by mutual respect, and by mutual love.
This is where the people of earth had gone terribly wrong. They forgot or had they never learned what it takes to save a planet, to live at one with nature and with each other. They found out the hard way and ultimately too late. They lost the battle to live and lost their world in the process.
And now on this rock, this shell, that was tumbling through space and time, the only remainder of our beautiful planet Earth, a rose. Astra did her duty and cared for it, protected it; awaiting her opportunity to prevent some other world from repeating the mistakes of her family, her parents, her world.
They had entrusted her with the lessons learned too late by them to protect, prevent the destruction of her wonderful Earth. And to travel the stars with her historical data in hope that this tale and this lonesome, beautiful flower would encourage other worlds to not follow suit; to stop and be aware of the beauty of their world. To not make the same mistakes as Earth had, but to just stop…, and smell the flowers.