Readers Write: The Secret

Readers Write: The Secret
Photo composite by Dr. James Haklar

Each day we awaken to the first golden rays of dawn.

That we are spiraling through the dark silences of space

has never been other than a miracle to me.


To stand before the last moments of darkness

and watch the sun’s wind fill the world with its light as a sail

is though I have never seen anything so beautiful.


All the colors suddenly flow through the streets and into the city.

I’ve seen the cobalt blue, yellow, and orange so often

yet still feel its mystery slowly seep through the air

until nothing else seems so real or wonderful.


I am again a child standing in the garden

remembering what’s forgotten, all the secrets of light.

Life again takes on that dreamy quality—precise

and clear, above and all around.


I have no idea why this particular sun is ours or has

a Goldilocks Zone—harboring the conditions that favor life.

The proper wavelengths and right amount of warmth,

not too much of the longer and shorter possibilities that fry biology.


As if there should be something like this between us

as we cross the darkness on our journey alone.

Before the late afternoon shadows absent-mindedly

continue to lengthen at dusk, let me say this with gratitude

for those who don’t know me.


I like to remember that even as I sleep the sun is shredding darkness

all the time.  Countless eruptions release all the light

that makes for happiness, we live in the garden.


Stephen Cipot

Author’s Note:

In retrospect, in one sense this may appear to be a Midrashic poem though not the intent. The sun emits all the wavelengths, from the longest to the shortest, which of course includes the invisible wavelengths as well the visible wavelengths of light.

The sun’s spectrum is caused or generated by nuclear fusion where atoms are combined and make other atoms and elements, the process releases huge amounts of energy covering the full spectrum.

All atoms and elements in the universe are believed to have been created within suns in this manner, beginning with the so-called Big Bang—which goes for saying that we are made of stardust.

My friend and colleague, Dr. James Haklar, likes to expand on astrophysics and share his expertise and astrophotos.  Here’s a composite photo he created that shows our sun in three wavelengths: White Light (using a filter transmitting light at around 540 nanometers); Hydrogen Alpha (light at 656.28 nanometers); and Calcium K (light at 393.4 nanometers).

White light is simply the result to our eyes of all the wavelengths combined, and for us what comprises visible light is a small part of the total spectrum emitted by our sun.

Hydrogen is by far the most abundant element in the sun, which is why it mostly appears yellow/orange to the unaided eye.

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