The sun can coax a poppy from a seed, turn on the green of its stem, raise the pulsing red of her petals to a heady passion. The sun can stipple your skin with freckles, bronze you to perfection, burn you to a crisp. You can read by its rays racing through a window to the open page of your book. You can gage the time of day by the shadow you cast in its spotlight. It's bright. It's also very far away.
The sun is a nuclear flame flickering more than 93 million miles from the rim of your sunglasses. Ninety-three million miles from hometown earth.
Between here and there: darkness and stars.
Photons fill the ocean of space between us and the twinkling orbs we wish upon, but we see mostly dark canvas after sundown. Do you think that's because our little globe blocks every photon during the "night?" Not a chance. The sun is 100 times our size. Its radiation moves right on by and turns on our faithful moon. It rockets across the solar system another 795 million miles and turns on Saturn for our gazing pleasure. Yet space between us and the moon ... between earthly lovers impressed by Saturn's spark: though thick with traveling photons, appears mostly dark.
- Because yang requires yin.
- Because photons require matter.
- Because light requires substance.
We see light (and matter, for that matter) when photons contact something with enough density to catch and contain them. Whether it's a flash or a steady glow, the it we see is that interaction between stuff and light.
Without stuff, no light reflects. Photons travel through the vastness seeking context, but emit nothing we can see until there's something to bump up against and tango.
So the question is: can you wield this metaphor?
What matter are you creating that is worthy of attracting photons?
What matter are you?
And what matter catches the radiance you emit?
Rumi says: there is a light seed grain inside / you fill it with yourself or it dies.
I say: choose wisely the substance you give yourself over to; live lucidly and luminously even in the smallest part of your day; turn on the sun - and lighten up.