Monday, March 8, 2021

Little star

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by Cesar Miguel G. Escaño

This is the story of our Mother Sun who sings to the planet Earth and whose light keeps us alive. When the sun was young, you knew her as Twinkle. When she became our star, we know her as Sol.

A long, long time ago, so long ago that there were only a few stars in the sky, there was a little star named Twinkle.

Twinkle was unlike the rest of her family.

Her light was not as bright as Big Brother Red whose light reached farther than her eyes could see.

Her color was not as beautiful as Big Sister Blue who kept combing her waist-long curls.

She was not as wise as her uncle and aunt, Quasars who pondered the mysteries of the young universe.

She was not as good a dancer as her parents, Pulsars who circled each other over and over again until Twinkle got dizzy watching them.

She was not as playful or as adorable as the family pet, Sirius the dog star, who loved to jump on everybody and lick their faces.

Twinkle was no longer a child but not yet an adult. She looked at her skin glowing with warm yellow light. She wondered what she was good at and what her light was good for.

What was her role in the young universe if she did not seem to be good at anything? What was her place in the heavens if she could not make anybody happy like the family dog whose playfulness everyone found endearing?

From a distance, Twinkle looked at the other stars. All of them had a place in the heavens while she was still looking for one.

She decided to ask her family for help to answer her questions.

Twinkle went to Big Brother Red.

Red stars are the brightest stars in the universe. Among all the colors of light, red travels the fastest and the longest.

Twinkle asked Big Brother Red, “Big Brother, what am I good at? What is my light is good for?”

Big Brother Red answered, “Can you do this?”

He glowed with an intense shade of red whose light reached the edges of space. His light was so brilliant that it passed through clouds of space dust as if nothing was there.

Twinkle tried to glow as bright as her big brother. No matter how hard she tried, her light remained a gentle yellow. Her warm light melted the ice off space rocks floating close by.

“I cannot do that,” Twinkle said to her brother.

“Then I cannot help you,” said Big Brother Red.

Twinkle went to Big Sister Blue.

Blue Stars are the hottest stars in the universe. Blue fire burns hotter than red fire.

Twinkle asked Big Sister Blue, “Big Sister, what am I good at? What is my light is good for?”

Big Sister Blue answered, “Can you do this?”

She put down her comb and flung her hair about. Her long curls glowed with different shades of blue, each shade beautiful to look at.

When the tips of her hair brushed against space rocks floating by, their surfaces burned and glowed like embers before evaporating into space dust.

Big Sister Blue’s hair was beautiful to look at but deadly to touch.

Twinkle’s hair was short unlike her big sister’s. Pale golden hair fell in wavy streams until her neck. Her hair glowed with the same yellow color as the rest of her body, pleasant to look at and gentle to the touch.

The little star swung her hair about like her big sister. When the tips of her hair brushed against space rocks floating by, the rocks spun around as if they had been tickled.

“I cannot do that,” Twinkle said to her sister.

“Then I cannot help you,” said Big Sister Blue who went back to combing her hair.

Twinkle went to her Uncle and Aunt Quasar. They sat in a dark corner of space and thought and thought all the time.

Quasars are mysterious celestial bodies. They release tremendous amounts of energy caused by something hidden and unseen inside them.

Twinkle asked her Uncle and Aunt Quasar, “Uncle and Aunt, what am I good at? What is my light good for?”

Uncle Quasar gave Twinkle a quizzical look. Aunt Quasar gave her husband an intrigued look.

Uncle and Aunt Quasar gave each other inspired looks. They thought about what their niece said.

“What interesting questions,” said Uncle Quasar.

“Interesting questions indeed,” echoed his wife.

“What am I good at?” Uncle Quasar said, looking at Twinkle.

“What is my light good for?” Aunt Quasar said, looking at her husband.

Uncle and Aunt Quasar asked the questions over and over again. They pondered the questions, thinking long and hard.

The Quasars got so deep in thought that black holes started forming in the center of their heads.

“Oh no,” said Uncle Quasar.

“Oh dear,” said Aunt Quasar.

The black holes in the center of their heads started pulling at each other and at everything nearby, including Twinkle.

For the first time in their lives, Uncle and Aunt Quasar made a decision without giving it much thought.

They flew away from each other to the opposite ends of the universe where the black holes in their heads would not suck in any stars.

Twinkle watched her uncle and aunt leave without answering her questions. She was no closer to finding her place in the universe.

The little star went to her parents, Pulsars who loved to dance in the heavens.

Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars. When two pulsars rotate from each other, they are called Binary Pulsars. Twinkle’s parents are binary companions of each other.

She waited for her parents to finish dancing before she asked her questions.

Father Pulsar threw Mother Pulsar into a dizzying spin. As she spun away from him, he spun away from her.

Even though they spun away from each other, their paths would eventually meet. They were two stars circling each other in the heavens.

When they spun toward each other, Father and Mother Pulsar caught each other’s hand. They both stopped spinning and ended their dance.

When Father and Mother Pulsar saw their daughter approaching, they smiled and embraced her.

Father Pulsar asked, “Would you like to dance?”

Mother Pulsar asked, “Would you like to go for a spin?”

Twinkle answered, “No, Father and Mother. My head is spinning on its own. I have questions no one has been able to answer.”

She told them, “No one has been able to tell me what I am good at and what my light is good for.”

Father Pulsar patted Twinkle on the head. He said, “No wonder they could not answer your questions, my dear.”

Mother Pulsar brushed the hair away from Twinkle’s eyes. She said, “No one can answer your questions.”

They hugged their daughter and said, “Only you can answer what you are good at and what your light is good for.”

Twinkle looked at her parents quizzically. “How do I find the answers?” she asked.

Father Pulsar stood up and raised his hand, inviting his wife to dance.

Mother Pulsar stood up and took her husband’s hand, accepting his invitation.

“Start with what you love doing,” her parents said before they started spinning away from each other.

Twinkle went to a distant corner of space so she could be alone with her thoughts. She was not alone for long.

Sirius the dog star jumped on her back. He licked Twinkle’s face while she giggled and laughed, telling him to stop.

Sirius is the brightest star in Earth’s sky. Since ancient times, mariners used Sirius to navigate the seas at night. Sirius’ light is friendly to humans like man’s best friend.

“You know what you love doing,” Twinkle told Sirius as she sat up.

“You love to jump on people and lick them until they tell you to stop,” she said, rubbing the dog star behind the ears.

“What do I love doing?” Twinkle pondered the question as Sirius lay on his back and let her scratch his belly.

“I do not love to make my light so bright like Big Brother Red,” she said, remembering how her brother’s light reached until the ends of the universe.

“I do not love to comb my hair all the time. I also do not love to fling my hair about, burning anything my hair touches,” the little star said, remembering how her sister liked to show off her regal blue curls without regard for anything or anyone close by.

“I also do not love to think too hard or too long that I get lost in my head,” Twinkle said, remembering how her Uncle and Aunt Quasar spent their entire time thinking before the black holes in their heads forced them away from each other and from the rest of their family.

“I think I would love to dance but I need to find someone I can dance with the same way Father and Mother love dancing with each other,” she said, remembering how her parents, dancing Pulsars, always found each other no matter how far and how long they spun away from each other.

“Would you like to dance with me?” Twinkle asked Sirius. The dog star panted happily while she rubbed his belly.

“I am better at singing than I am at dancing,” the little star said.

“I love to sing so I will start with that,” Twinkle said and began singing.

The little star sang in the vastness of space. Her song was warm as her light. Her voice was bright as her smile.

While she was singing, Twinkle heard something from far, far away.

Someone was listening to her song.

Twinkle listened closely.

Someone was crying. Someone was shivering.

Someone was cold and lonely somewhere in the vastness of space.

Twinkle stood up and searched for the source of the sound.

Her light only reached so far. If only Big Brother Red were here to shine his light, Twinkle thought.

Twinkle felt something wet and furry nuzzling her hand. When she looked down, Sirius pointed with his nose to a distant spot in space.

“Thank you,” Twinkle said, patting Sirius on the head. Being a dog, his senses were sharper than Twinkle’s senses were.

In a distant spot in space, there were several planets, too big to be space rocks, too small to be stars. All of them were cold. Some of them were covered in ice.

The third planet was singing a song while shivering in the vacuum of space.

Twinkle listened closely. The planet’s song was a song of yearning for warmth and light. It was also a song of hope for love and life.

Twinkle reached out with her hand. As her light neared, the third planet’s ice melted and became a healthy blue color.

She touched all of the planets with her fingers. Each one began spinning and circling her.

When Twinkle touched the blue planet, she heard a giggling sound like a child being tickled awake. The planet spun around like a top overjoyed to finally be able to move about.

The blue planet began singing a song thanking Twinkle.

Twinkle answered with a life-giving song, filling the planet with greenery and wildlife.

As they sang to each other, Twinkle realized she loved what she was doing.

As her light kept the planets around her warm, Twinkle found out what she was good at and what her light was good for.

As the planets spun around and circled her in joyous dance, Twinkle discovered that she had found her place in the universe.

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