Sunday, January 04, 2009

This morning was the perihelion, and part of it was also the end points of the Quadrantid meteor shower, so it was the work of only moments to put together a fleet of paper airplanes to send up to those meteors, to land on their craters and to later be burned up by the sun.

Telling the sun secrets on the perihelion is a delicate matter, because the next trip around to now is a long one through the dark vastness of space lit only by its own fire. So you don't want to give the sun too much, don't want to weigh it down with even more dark things, with heavinesses that are not its own to carry.

In the end, the only thing for it is to tell the sun stories. On one paper airplane, a story about an aardvark and a pangolin and a star-nosed mole who become unlikely friends and go on crime-solving adventures. On another, a story about splashing home in the snow in the wrong shoes, stomping just to watch the wet clumps scatter and laughing happier than when anyone is looking. On one more, the feeling of waiting for people I know will show up and make me smile, the feeling of contentment borne of happy dependability. On two or three, stories about smiles from across the room, about blushing, about the best of moments before.

But it would be a waste of a perihelion without a few secret stories and a double handful of wishes, tied with lopsided little bows around the noses of their airplanes, to give them extra weight.

After I had tossed them all skyward with a firm flick of the wrist, I whispered to the sun a little, all of the things too important to be written down, too soft to not be broken in the act of joining pen and paper.

In return the sun sent me a snowstorm to smile home in, so I think perhaps we understood each other perfectly.

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