I wasn’t exactly surprised when I saw the sun falling from the sky, though I was a little concerned.
It was two am by my watch, and therefore what should have been the dead of night, but instead it was as bright and hot as a July day. I looked out across the rocky desert, strangely lush with its scrubby trees and bushes. There was no one else here, and truth be told, I was not actually sure how I had gotten here either. I tried hard to think of where and when I was prior to this moment, but I couldn’t remember.
This is the way of travel in dreams – ever arriving without the bother of traversing time or space.
The full moon shone over head, silver and low, closer to the earth than it should have been. It was close enough for one to discern its spherical nature, the curve and shadow of its edges promising a mystery on the other side – the dark side, the hidden side. At this distance, it was three dimensional, not at all like the plain white disc that came to mind when I tried to remember past versions of itself.
The air hummed with the sound of the approaching sun. I looked up to note its trajectory and saw that it was on a collision course with the moon which merely stood silent and steady, waiting for what would happen. I started to panic. A cold dread filled me as I thought about what would become of me, what would become of us, should this cataclysm take place.
I wanted to hide. I wanted to find a refuge and wait for the end, but there was no hope of this. Here in the desert, I was wide open. I could only wait as the moon did.
I shielded my eyes as best I could and watched the slow descent of the sun. It was forming a perfectly parabolic arc across the sky.
As the sun drew closer, its yellow glow waned to a burnt orange. The sun danced with celestial fire. My heart raced as the sun approached the moon, steady and silent, without hesitation.
The star closed in.
The satellite waited.
I closed my eyes just before impact, unable to bear witness to this final dis-integration. I waited, wrought with anticipation, to feel but not see my own demise.
The darkness behind my eyes glowed red, then cooled suddenly to a flat black. I braced myself, waiting for the sound. I waited to be blown away by solar winds, to be burned to ash by nuclear fire. But, there was nothing.
I was still here.
I opened my eyes to sudden night. The air chill and crisp. The full moon glowing glorious, a crown amid the stars. The sun had missed its mark and was now completely eclipsed by the moon.
I looked out across the desertscape, bathed and dusted in silver. I exhaled in relief, only realizing then that I had been holding my breath.
Breeze rustled the stunted trees, bringing with it a perfume of unknown origin. I inhaled it deeply, my lungs drinking in the scent with a rare thirst.
I was relieved – but only for the moment, for though the moon had been spared, the sun was still set on its deliberate path. Its arc a clear curve set to crash the earth to a final ruination.
Suddenly, I knew that I had to stop the sun. Suddenly I knew how to catch this falling star.
Across the desertscape’s untroubled surface the air became still and silent in the silver light.
After some time, the sun emerged from the moon’s skirts, much reduced in size and intensity. The air warming only slightly as it drew close.
I was not surprised to see this shrunken sun. But even in its failing, this was still the sun, and it was set.
I tracked the slow arc of its descent, my eyes aglow with reflected embers.
I stood in the place where it would make its mark and tunneled deep. Turning inward, unlocking the deepest spaces of myself until I rent a chasm clear through to the very center of the earth, into the fire of its core.
I opened up and caught the sun. Then, I closed myself for safe keeping.
The sun grows, deep inside the womb of the earth, while the moon begins its reign o’er a season of night.