Kepler-16b

Author: Reba Elliott

The sun rises and sets, then the other sun rises and and sets, and then the planet rises and the sun rises and the planet sets and the other sun rises and the sun sets and the other sun sets. There is light everywhere. Leaves grow long and wild and in all directions, reaching for every light source at once. And our shadows, also, grow long and wild, and in all directions. They fade in and out, stretch and dance. There are years without night.

We spin and the planets spin and the suns spin. It is dizzying. We live on a moon, one of several, orbiting a planet, orbiting two stars. And out there, other galaxies spin and spin, full of a million lights.

Have you ever seen a ball made of a hundred tiny mirrors? They reflect light as the ball spins, sending little spots of light flying across the walls and floor. Can you imagine being inside of that ball of mirrors, all of them reflecting your light back at you, over and over and over until you go blind? No. I agree. I’d rather be on the outside too.

It isn’t strange living in this environment if you were born here and lived here your whole life, like I have. My house is covered in vines stretching toward one sun or the other. I never have to rotate my houseplants. Every wall is filled with windows.

How do you know what you were meant to do? Some of us are born into it. Some of us go searching for a long time and then eventually come home to work on the family farm. Some of us go searching and never return. I don’t know what those ones find, because they don’t come back to tell us.

Do the plants ask what they were meant to do? I think so. Otherwise why would they be reaching first for one star and then for the other?

The straight line: that is something I know nothing about. We just spin, here. Here, we just spin. And everything around us spins, and the whole universe is spinning. That is the one constant in the universe: everything spins.

2 Comments

  1. SRDFrench

    A lovely piece, evocative and thoughtful.

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