The Dawn of our Sun-
Sommre Phililps, A’21
Turn your attention towards me and listen carefully as I tell you:
I know how the sun was conceived.
As time began, in the moment between darkness and light, an angel, standing right beside God, saw the first glimmer of warmth in the universe. Greater than a spark but smaller than a star, it was fire–history’s first flame. Enamored by not only his beauty, but also the power he represented, God recognized the angel’s admiration and warned her, should she pursue the flame, her story would end ablaze. Even so, the angel could think of nothing but her love for him and in spite of God’s pleas to stay away, she pledged to rest only when the flame loved her back.
The angel would admire the flame from afar. She regarded him as perfect and thus could not see the danger he encompassed, his raging temperament, or how harmful the fires he caused could be to those touched by them. She observed the trails he would leave behind, taking note of each burn, each speck of ash, and still, saw only his brilliance. Eventually, the angel approached the flame and admitted to her longing. Awestruck and beguiled by the angel and her claims, the flame believed himself to have always been alone, for he was the villain among elements, creating life only through death and destruction. The flame could not believe that she loved him. He felt he could never deserve it, especially not from the angel in all of her celestial glory. He confessed his distress to her and the angel met him with grace. She said to him, “You are not alone. You never were. I have always been here–since your creation–and will be so, even should it bring devastation.” With these words, the flame surrendered and devoted his life and every ounce of his love to her. As quickly as they professed their affections, the flame took the angel’s hand in marriage. Not long after they wed, the couple bore their first child. Their dazzling daughter would grow into what the universe now knows as the sun.
A new husband and father, yet the flame remained insatiable. Eating up oxygen just as stars created it, he could not help but to take from all around him. Ultimately, this compulsion killed the angel. The flame discovered he could abuse gas and the substance made him feel powerful. Every time he toyed with the matter, he would grow exponentially in size, intensity, and risk. He became addicted and yet remained ignorant to its chemistry, unaware that mixing heat and gas proves lethal. Still, he grew furious without it and turned a blind eye to consequence when engaged with it. Whenever under this gas, the flame would accidentally burn a feather off the angel’s wings until finally, his amusement caused a long overdue, cosmic explosion. And so not long after her arrival, the sun lost her mother. The angel went as God warned, engulfed in flames begotten by her beloved. She died with her daughter near.
The flame knew what he had done, but he had already lost control. Inconsolable, he would always remember what the angel said to him long ago–that she would be with him until they both departed–though he could not sense her presence and so did not have faith that she remained in him. Empty and alone, the flame spent the rest of his time fueling himself with his beloved gas, forgetting his daughter, burning as bright as he could until there was no longer space in him for life. He ran out of air and at once, his fire was quenched. All that remained of the sun’s father culminated in a pile of ashes. She, still in her youth, was left to grow up alone.
For some time, the sun was a perfect amalgam of divinity and the profane. She received poise and benevolence from her mother, and was selfless to a fault, providing for an entire solar system without ever reflecting on just how much of herself belonged to her. From her father, the sun gained tenacity and, for better or worse, more passion than she could hold. As she matured, the sun adopted her parent’s habits and strived to embody them simultaneously as a means of keeping them alive. Though, her mother passed away far too early to be truly understood by her daughter. Instead, the sun recalled her father and she inevitably followed his example. The gas got to her early on and as she grew larger and larger, so too did her fixation with it.
As the sun engorged herself with gas, she ate away at the cosmos. Grief-stricken and lonely, she consumed nearly all life without ever realizing she took from humanity in the same heedless style as her father. She too left destruction behind her, but in her case it was permanent. The sun littered the hollow universe and as she approached the edge of creation, everything was once again darkness. The sun solely destroyed all God’s work and as a result, she suffered true isolation. There was nothing left to consume and therefore no hindrance to her pain. All at once, she sweltered under the weight of her parents’ absence and with that, experienced a new sentiment. The sun could feel the loss of the entire universe inside her. She carried its sorrows and terribly desired to release that pain, and all her guilt, along with her own desolation. She wanted to be empty. To no avail, she pleaded so to her parents, hoping they might release her. Then, in her greatest despair, the sun began to flare. The energy she contained so desperately needed to escape. As she reflected on each hardship and act of destruction she caused, she exploded in a cataclysmic howl. Each scream devastated her, and then brought relief. The more the sun came to terms with her history, the lighter she became. In this, the sun–much like a wildfire who burns down every tree–gave way to new life around her and growth as she had never before witnessed.
The sun accepted what she had done. She understood she no longer needed to be her father and at that revelation wept. As the tears rolled off, she noticed them twinkling like stars. They were stars! The sun realized what this meant; she could restore the universe by giving life to one element at a time. This brought her great peace and caused her to dance. As she spun across the nearly vacant cosmos, her tears fell and from them grew new planets. The sun named her new planets to remember those cosmic bodies she had wrongfully consumed. Mercury to Neptune and all in between twirled around her as she provided warmth to their infinite, celestial ballroom. Only this time, the sun, after learning the repercussions of giving or taking immoderately, offered herself only as much as was fair to her. In turn, the planets provided her with unconditional love, knowing they could not replace what she had lost and yet, believing that by vowing to always care for her, she would forever illuminate the universe and keep faith with their eternal dance.