|"Evening, Kahana Beach", oil, by Don Gray|
I take for granted that the sunshine I see most days is similar in its essential features to the sun from which it comes, but I don’t often consider my own similarity to the forces from which I come. Sunshine is made by the sun, but I am made, you might say, by the entire universe. The atoms that my body is made of were fashioned countless eons ago by a strange and immense explosion, and before they came to compose a life called Hamilton in November of 1941, they had swirled through the universe on many missions, perhaps helping to make old oceans and mountains and zebras and songwriters. The oxygen atoms I’m taking into my lungs this moment might have been breathed out by a man in far off Morocco just yesterday. I was made – am made and re-made each moment – by the forces that flow through the universe, the same forces that send flames from volcanoes and make midnights sometimes full of stars. Instead of being separate from the stars and rivers and rolling ranges of mountains, I am part, with them, of the dynasty of the universe. We are all the youngsters of the cosmos, made by mighty forces and composed of powers we can’t begin to comprehend. Sunshine comes from the sun, and thus is similar to it, and the sun itself comes from the same measureless universe that makes me moment by moment, and thus is similar in composition to that universe, and so am I.