In 1986 Arthur C. Clarke published his novel, The Songs of Distant Earth. The center of the story takes place on the water world of Thalassa.
The Thalassans are humans who came from earth a very long time ago to help preserve the human race. Very little is known of earth except what has been passed down from generation to generation.
Into this peaceful world arrives the Magellen, the last super craft from a vanished earth. The Magellan carries over a million humans to colonize the planet known as Sagan 2. They had to stop at Thalassa to make repairs.
Overall, it is a fascinating book about human attempts to preserve themselves when the sun goes supernova. It is a story of adventure, love and sacrifice.
It got me to thinking about the songs of distant worlds. As we gaze at the night sky each star is a sun and for the most part there are worlds like our solar system which rotate around their star, their sun.
We know from scientific measurements that we are looking at the ancient past in the night sky. There are new stars and very old ones. Sadly, there are dead ones whose songs ceased millennia ago.
One must wonder if there were life forms on those dead stars before they met their eventuality. What happened to those life forms before their star went silent?
Did they just perish and return to star dust? Did they build crafts to sail the solar winds in search of a new home?
There are those who believe that life on this planet may have been touched in some way by star wanderers. Perhaps, some departed their ship and settled here as their compatriots continued on their star trek.
Speculations on this subject have made their way into articles, books and films. Perhaps, it’s an innate desire in our genome to believe that life has a cosmic purpose.
If humans are just the product of accident in a primordial chemical stew, then we are just a speck, a minuscule dot floating in the vast ocean we call the cosmos. If that is the case, then our earth is a sad song.
It is sad because there is so much strife among its inhabitants. It is sad because our carelessness is killing our world in the name of advancement.
The rain forests of earth must have sung a song, a paean of creation before humans took the ax and the bulldozer to their pristine beauty. Humans preferred their lucriferous pursuits instead of protecting the vast forests which existed before humans walked the earth and exploring their salutary mysteries.
The oceans must have offered a hymn of praise for their beauty and abundant life forms before humans sailed the mighty seas and dumped waste of its futility into the deeps. The song of ocean life is fading into the recesses of forgotten symphonies.
The songs of distant worlds may be heard if we listen to the night sky. However, the song of earth is gradually fading from the cosmic orchestra by the hand of humans who know not the music of creation.
G. D. Williams © 2012
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