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Goodnight

The sun shines too brightly in my window. Its rays are too strong for my eyes to look at very long. I move in every which way to avoid it, allowing myself to see about my room without the blind spot it creates. It is very easy to reach up to close the blinds, so that I may block the sun’s powerful rays. Now that it is no longer in my line of vision, I go back to my work, forgetting for the moment that there is a large orb in the sky lighting up the entire earth.

Unlike the earth, the sun is almost perfectly spherical. Magnetic fields are interwoven in hot plasma. It is amazing to think that eight planets and an unknown amount of moons, although the number of estimation has ranged from 166 to 240, orbit this one star, day in and day out. The sun takes no breaks. When it is dark on one side of the world, it is midday on the other. We are forever surrounding a sphere of nothing more than hot gas.

The sun is so large that we forget that it is only classified as a medium sized star. It is terrifying yet fascinating to realize that, somewhere in the galaxy, there are stars much bigger than the one we rely on to survive. For the human race, filled with billions of people who would not dare to believe they are not the center of the world, the idea of stars that we cannot see existing that are bigger than our sun is too much to handle. We leave those searches to be conducted by the physicists and the astronomers of the world. Many of us go about our daily lives not caring if there are worlds we cannot see. We have more important things to do, like holding our breath in wait to see if J.K. Rowling will pretty please write an eighth Harry Potter novel for us.

It is a few hours later. I have finished watching my latest movie interest on my laptop, and I am being called down for dinner. We are having chicken parmesan in honor of my brother’s visit home from college. As I sit eating one of his favorite dishes, I can’t help but glance out the window. I am no longer forced to shut my eyes in the bright light. The light is not strong; it is now all but gone. Nighttime is descending; darkness is upon us. I am saddened at the thought of another day gone, never to be lived again.

But no matter, right? I’ve another day coming tomorrow, and then one after that, and one after that. What is the importance of this day, a cold Sunday in early November, where I did nothing more than shop for groceries and watch an 11 year old film? I did not cure cancer today. I did not solve the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. I did nothing productive for myself or anyone else. Why am I so depressed about finishing another day, when I have already completed year’s worth of them?

It is because I know my days are numbered. There will be one day that, when the sin disappears, I will not see it ever again. I will one day die, along with everyone else walking on this earth right now. One day, in a future more near than any of us would care to think, every living human on this earth will be dead. We will be dead by terminal illness, by the hands of others, by our own hand, by car accidents, by drug overdose, by too much alcohol consumption, by countless other ways.

The sun will continue to rise and set in my location in the world, even long after I am gone. But I will no longer be there to bear witness to such a beautiful sight. For about 100 years, if all goes well, I will live on this earth, surviving only because of a miracle. But my survival will not last forever, and neither will the survival of the entire human race. The sun will explode into a supernova, which will swallow Mercury and Venus and cover Earth’s surface in a layer of hot lava. And on that day, every living thing on this earth will end their last day, all at the same time. To all of those creature, human and non-human alike, I have one final thing to say: goodnight.



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