It’s been a warmer than usual winter. The sun seems to be winning its fight with Jack Frost as New Englanders wear shorts in fifty-degree weather – something this boy ‘from away’ wouldn’t ever consider. The sun is a magical force – literally the star of our solar system, shining it’s warmth and life on us freely, but what do we really know about it?
As a child, I vividly remember attending a planetarium presentation that dramatically announced the sun’s demise. Laying back helpless in the oversized chair meant to comfort me, In a flashy burst, the animated sun exploded, overtaking everything in its path – including the entire earth. After the complete destruction of the human race and every living thing on the planet, the announcer consoled, “of course, this won’t happen for millions of years.”
Well, my seven-year-old self was devastated. I fixated on the sun exploding for months. Maybe years. I was certain, at any moment, I’d look up and see the sun overtake the sky, frying me and everything else in its path. Scientists are always getting details wrong and the ‘millions of years’ clearly was a mistake. The sun was going to end all life as we know it – and probably before my next birthday.
Naturally, the sun never exploded, not yet anyway. It keeps us warm – although not super warm in the cold months of winter… unless you live in Australia… then you’d be super hot, but, of course, you’d have to worry about rogue boxing kangaroos – another irrational childhood fear of mine. For now, I’m happy spring appears to be lurking around the corner. The crocuses always trumpet the coming warmth and I’ve spotted clusters of them popping up all over, reaching for the sun, clearly not worrying about he giant gas star exploding on them anytime soon.