“Father, I thought I was vaccinated” said Mars.
“Don’t worry son, it’s not contagious.” Said the sun.
“But, the sickness is evolving. How do we know the old vaccination will still work?”
“Because, son, we have to trust it. It’s worked for millions of years.”
“Well, why didn’t earth get the vaccination?”
“She did, Mars. She did get the vaccination but some power stronger than you and I gave her humans. All we can do is support your sister.”
“But dad, why would any higher power curse her with humans?”
“It was not always a curse, son. It was done with the greatest of intentions. Can’t you see the good in humans?”
“The only good I see, dad, is their own good. They’re sacrificing my sister for their own selfish gain. And not even a true gain. It’s only a false illusion of a gain.”
“I know son, but we have to have faith. We have to believe that to the extent that they are destroying her that they will remedy her.”
“You know, dad” said Mars with a shaky voice “they’re coming for me. They’re not only sending a machine. They’re sending humans here.”
“I heard, Mars. Don’t worry son. They cannot survive on you like they do on earth.”
“That’s what scares me, dad. I’m afraid that if they don’t need me, they will dispose of me when they’ve taken everything I have.”
“That very well may happen, son. But that’s up to the other starts to judge. Your job, as a planet is to enjoy your time while you’re here.”
“I want to last forever.” Said Mars as he took a deep breath.
“Well son, that’s never going to happen. So mine as well learn to enjoy the day while it’s here. I mean, your sister is in more pain than anyone can imagine, but she’s happy. Just ask her about her experience.”
“Okay dad. I’m still scared though.”
“That’s okay, son.”
And Mars, realizing that he may one day have humans, spent the week in solitude. Instead of speaking to his brothers or sister, just kept to himself. He cried a fair bit. He cried tears of fear, tears of compassion for his sister, tears of helplessness. He realized how much pain and fear Earth must be feeling. After his week of seclusion ended, Mars called on his sister, Earth.
“Earth, how are you?”
“I’m better than ever, Mars. Thanks for asking. How are you?”
“I’m not doing so well.” He said.
“Oh no, what’s wrong?” replied Earth.
“I’m sure you’ve heard. But some of your humans are coming to me.”
“They are? Wow. I’m so sorry Mars. I haven’t heard. I’ve made a habit of ignoring the gossip.”
“I’m scared, sis. Will I be okay?”
“I think you’ll be okay, Mars. The virus isn’t as bad as some people think it is.”
“Earth, I think you’re in denial.”
“No, I’m not. I’m experiencing the exact opposite, actually. I’m in acceptance.”
“You’re in acceptance?”
“Yes. I’ve accepted that no matter what I do, I cannot get rid of them. Trust me I have tried. Humans are beyond my control.”
“And they’re killing you.”
“Maybe they are, but if I had the choice I wouldn’t change one thing about my life.”
“What are you talking about Earth? You’re crazy.”
“Maybe I am, Mars, maybe I am crazy. But you cannot know what it’s like to host life. Along with humans, also comes trees and water and oxygen and fire. Along with humans comes animals and love and sadness. Along with humans comes life. And I would gladly sacrifice myself again to make life possible. I’ve learned so much from having life. If I had humans or if I didn’t, I would still die one day. I mine as well enjoy my time while it lasts.”
“Have you spoken to dad about this?”
“Yes, many times.”
“What did he say?”
“He said that he has no control over this. Humans and life is a son of his. Everything on me is derived from sunlight. Dad’s light is what the plants consume and it’s the basic source of all energy for life. He’s help me accept my fate. Once I accepted my fate, I learned to have compassion towards myself. My situation is what it is. Along with the pain comes equal joy, Mars. I’s sure you’ll be fine.”
“I’m sorry you feel so much pain, Earth.”
“And I’m sorry you haven’t felt my joy, Mars.”
“Why does life have to be so hard, sis?”
“That’s just the way it is. And it’s beautiful if you ask me. If life was only joy, we wouldn't know how to appreciate it.”
At this point, Mars started to cry and Earth comforted him. She was familiar with the tears of pain and fear he was experiencing. She had been there once. But as she hugged him, she smiled because she knew that this pain is the first step in true wisdom and happiness.
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