"The world was all before them, where to choose Their place of rest, and Providence their guide: They hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow, Through Eden took their solitary way."
- John Milton -
A Theological Fantasy by Duncan Cary Palmer
A long way from Earth. ~ Photo courtesy of Enrique Meseguer
I'm in a celebratory mood, but at the moment a bit too tired to dance and sing, and so I lean back against the side of the ship, relishing the view. Grasslike vegetation below me forms a soft but supportive lounge.
The last two weeks have been utterly exhausting, but not without their rewards. Whoever imagined life in heaven as easy sure had it wrong. There's nothing remotely easy about opening up a new planet.
Even during my days on Earth, we already knew the galaxy was littered with worlds. Billions of them in the Goldilocks Zone, that orbital realm where—like on Earth—water can exist in all its forms. We chose Minerva to pioneer for that reason, among others. Here we have liquid oceans, solid ice caps, and glorious water vapor clouds.
After cleaning up and resting a bit, Amy and I will do some partying tonight. I uncork a decade-old Merlot from our stores, pour myself a full glass, and take a generous swallow.
Half an acre, sown. ~ Photo courtesy of John Howard
During the past fortnight, we've succeeded in clearing and sowing a half acre of what looks to be very fertile ground for our first garden. It hasn't been all hard sweaty work; we've punctuated our labor with adventures in the surrounding savanna. Ranging only as far as we could travel on foot in a couple of hours, we have found more than a half dozen tasty native fruits and vegetables.
Tonight, we celebrate getting the garden in with a feast that combines grilled steaks and potatoes from our Earth larder with a salad made from local flora.
"What's for dinner?"
Pulling myself to my feet, I turn to see Amy, still blotting herself dry. She's headed my way after a bath in the nearby stream. My drop-dead gorgeous, enthusiastic and industrious soul-mate is without a doubt a fitting "Eve" for this brave new world. Though less sure of my qualifications for the role of Adam, I don't lack a sense of humor.
"Whatever you rustle up, love."
Failing to duck quickly enough, the wadded-up towel Amy flings hits me squarely in the face.
"Thanks for the towel, babe. I do need to go clean up for supper. Seriously, I've already thawed and seasoned the steaks, and the fruits and veggies are rinsed and chopped. All you have to do is throw them on the grill and toss a salad."
I pour Amy a glass of Merlot, and hand it to her after collecting a quick kiss.
"Slave driver. OK, I'll cook. I'm glad I got back in time for the second sun to set. Now, hurry, go get your bath."
Our stream-fed pool. ~ Photo courtesy of Pexels
It's a two minute walk to our stream-fed pool. I plunge, then stand under the waterfall and wash away the dirt and sweat of the day's labor.
After a mouth-watering dinner, we put on some music. Amy and I dance away a half hour under the starlight, drawing progressively closer. Time for a little more sowing.
Beneath an unearthly sky. ~ Photo courtesy of Hans Braxmeier
Later, beneath a light cover, we lie together naked on the springy grass, looking up at the unearthly sky, picking out new constellations.
"Do you think you caught?"
"Mmmm... Could be." In the starlight, I see Amy's gentle smile grow. "It's a boy. What shall we name him?"
"Don't know yet." I glide my hand over her belly, dipping my index finger into her navel. "I do know this. We won't be calling him Cain."
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This story first appeared on Whaleshares.
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In a celebratory mood... ~ Photo courtesy of DivvyPixel
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