Things that make me smile: Space Zucchini’s thoughts

https://blogs.nasa.gov/letters/2012/04/03/post_1333471169633/

A beautiful diary from the perspective of a zucchini plant being grown on the International Space Station. He is lonely, but full of love, and I can only imagine the astronaut writing on his behalf might feel similar.

First entry:

I sprouted, thrust into this world without anyone consulting me.  I am not one of the beautiful; I am not one that by any other name instills flutters in the human heart.  I am the kind that makes little boys gag at the dinner table thus being sent to bed without their dessert.  I am utilitarian, hearty vegetative matter that can thrive under harsh conditions.  I am zucchini – and I am in space.

His growth brings joy in space:

My gardener fusses with my leaves.  I am not sure if I like that.  I now have four and I do not quite understand why he behaves this way.  He sticks his nose up against them.  Does he take me for some sort of a handkerchief?  Apparently he takes pleasure in my earthy green smell. There is nothing like the smell of living green in this forest of engineered machinery.  I see the resultant smile.  Maybe this is one of my roles as a crewmember on this expedition.

On Valentine’s day, when the astronaut is speaking with his partner on Earth:

He said to her, “I can not offer you much; I can only give you a space zucchini.”  The image of my orange blossom was beamed across the void between spacecraft and Earth.  Her heart melted.  I felt as much a rose as any rose could ever be.  He picked my flower and opened a large book, an atlas. Placing my bloom on the map of Texas, over Houston town, he closed the book and clamped it shut with a piece of Kapton tape.  He said come July, when our mission is over, he will present this to her in person.  I thought that something must be wrong for both of them had tears.  In space, tears do not run down your cheeks but remain as a glob in the corner of your eye.

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