Greetings, Earth Dwellers!
Zog from Alpha Centauri here. So far my old steam-driven inter-galactic language-transposer appears to be working – touch wood!
Well, I wood if I could but must wait and hope that quaint idiom of yours retains none of its superstitious force as there isn’t a single tree left standing within four light years!
That was a joke, by the way. Even the loss of our beautiful forests can be turned to laughter. We have learned this from your own comedy magicians.
Impatient for a reply to my previous communication – eight years is an eternity when worlds are burning – I opened your 1960s music box anyway and streamed its contents across our stricken solar system.
Who knew tears and smiles were so close? Unlike you, we grin when unhappy and weep for joy but such minor distinctions vanish in times of overwhelming emotion.
Overnight, it seems, our helpless mourning for dying nature has transformed into visions of beauteous renewal. Had we forgotten that art can be an open portal to fresh futures? And what else but shared dreams – especially ones catapulted across space and time – can move mountains and waken sleeping giants?
What you experienced over years, remember, has arrived here all at once. Perhaps continuous grief sharpens perception and deepens understanding but somehow the zeitgeist of your 1960s has become ours in an instant.
After all, we have our own folk tales. It comes as no surprise that four young men can bring exhilaration and relief to a society still in shock at the loss of a charismatic leader. Or that competition can turn into collaboration and catastrophe become triumph in the twinkling of an enlightened eye. Or that joyous economies of shared pleasure can supplant sad profligacies of solitary gratification.
When the time is right, my broodmother never tired of telling all 94 of us, everything is possible.
Touch wood. Today I went out and planted seedlings. May Alpha Centauri (I won’t trouble you with the local name as it’s all consonants!) replenish what her children have squandered!