Embrace Me

The Expedition 30 crew comes home to Kazakhstan last month.

A poem written after my Soyuz TMA-1 landing in 2003.

Oh Mother Earth, embrace me
     with all of your weight.
I am pressed into your bosom
     and like Atlas, I carry the World’s load.
I leave the comforts of an orbital womb
     and am born a second time.
Rudely thrust into the world of weight,
     my chest sinks from heavy load
     my arms do not move at my command
     and my head spins.
But there is work to do, we must keep our wits.
We want to survive this test to prove our
worthiness for life on Earth.
And finally, our just reward,
     the sweet smell of freshly tilled earth
     and of crushed spring grass.
The Sparrow’s song greets our ears.
Did we perish and land on Heaven’s door?
I spew bile and mucus into desert soil,
     a reminder that I am still among the living.
Oh Mother Earth, I have returned
     Embrace me!

Don’s blog also appears at airspacemag.com.

5 thoughts on “Embrace Me”

  1. From Mother Earth to the Man Who Flies:

    Yes, my son, I will welcome you home
    From your journey among the stars and space
    I’ll invite you to walk with me
    Under gentle whispering treetops
    And tell me of things I know not
    As I remain tethered
    Bound by forces I cannot break

    Am I still the mystery
    You deem me to be
    When back among my rhythmic eloquence?
    Do you feel your heart beat
    Not with sadness of loss
    But of a newfound longing for all things Home?

    Come, let me quench your thirst
    For water, clear and cold
    Tis an abundant gift to my children
    Precious though it may be~
    I think it is one of my best attributes
    Do you not agree?

    Behold my horizon
    See the sky through the eyes of one
    Who knows clouds are dreams and whimsy
    As the breeze caresses your skin
    Calming the turmoil of biology within
    I pray you appreciate my seasons
    Some of colorful bounty, some of stark wonder

    I nurture your friends, oh gardener son,
    I work to give them everything they need
    To grow, into something more than seed
    And give life to others in a cycle of love~

    Here, in my place in the cosmos
    Sink into my softness
    Tell me of the vastness and beauty
    And whether I am still your favorite
    After you’ve come from majestic darkness
    For I will always welcome you home, dear man who flies

  2. I like the line “I spew etc” it really gives a reality to earth return. Although initially unpleasant it does, paradoxically, give an image of rebirth. Interesting that one of the first words should be “weight”. So the Earth is simple things in the long run, like a “Sparrow`s song”

  3. So beautiful.

    The Silverton mural featuring you is my new Facebook cover. The whole town is so proud of you today.

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