I was lying on the beach the other day with my eyes closed, and with a slight breeze cooling me off, it was easy to feel the Sun's warmth on my body. I'd feel remiss describing it in any way other than a caress. It was gentle, the Sun's touch -- loving. I thought, as I have before, about the Sun's importance to the world. I hesitate calling it the source of all life, but it is certainly the support of all life -- the Earth's only nurturer. See...life is an endless process of consumption. Living things more or less spend all their time turning other things into themselves. Once we get past the actual physical materials used to fill our blood and bones, all that's left to drive this machine is energy. Life consumes energy, and it has to come from somewhere. Ours, ultimately, comes from the Sun. I lay back and felt the light wash over me, and I smiled, content, feeling connected to a truth as old as life: that the Sun is our giver and sustainer, the warmth and light and life of the entire planet.
It is, in truth, all those things.
Many hours later, back in my house, I was thinking about how your point of view shapes your relationship with the world. And despite the experience I had undergone earlier that afternoon, I was reminded of another reality...another truth.
And that truth is: that the sun is also a two-billion-billion-billion-ton nuclear furnace, and it ceaselessly throws out into the universe a quantity of radiation so powerful that, despite having traveled 93 million miles through the wastes of space and having punched through 100 miles of atmosphere, it can still blast into my body and crack apart the DNA in my very cells, scorching the outer layers of my epidermis like a blowtorch caramelizing the top of a crème brûlée.
This is also the truth.
And I feel...either way...you just gotta respect that.