I lay in my sleeping-bag one night knowing that the stars were filling the sky outside, and I pictured another pilgrim many thousands of years in the future talking to a friend.

“So what made you want to do this, Dan?”

“Well, since hearing of the old pilgrimages in school, I kind of always wanted to come find out for myself.  There’s something about those stories and all the generations that came this way before us.  I just wanted to get back on the old trail and into a simple routine.”

“I know what you mean.  The complexity of living can fry your head. Yet, sometimes the immediacy of transportation makes it all seem like nothing.  Everything’s too easy.  Where’s the vastness?  Where’s the wonder of not knowing?”

“It’s hard to imagine what it must have been like to have to struggle to reach somewhere and to have so much of the universe unknown.”


“So they thought.   It’s all collapsed to an instant.  There’s not much to contemplate anymore when you can simultaneously be at the beginning and the end of everything.”

“So which one of those is Earth?”

“The second one out.”

“I thought it was the third.”

“It was, until the star engulfed the closest planet.”

“It’s so bland – like a lot of things – when you find yourself actually in the place you so wanted to see, it can’t match your expectation.”

“You have to remember that most of it was covered in water once.  They say it was like a jewel.   It must have been a beautiful sight when it had a substantial atmosphere. ”

“Yeah, I suppose.  Just another rock now.”

“Seen enough?”

“Yeah.  Let’s move on.”


Copyright Kevin Buckle 2015

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