Earth is the perfect distance from the sun to nurture life. Whether divine or random circumstances, the sun warmed a little patch of water in an ancient ocean, and now you’re a walking, breathing, feeling form.
As Animalia, as Mammalia, you’ve long abandoned photosynthesis.
You are a predator. A vertebrate. A nomad. A consumer.
And still, you’re drawn to that sphere of glowing hydrogen and helium and metals. Maybe it is gravity. Maybe it is the production of nutrients through your skin, the ultraviolet radiation converting a cholesterol into vitamin D.
Perhaps you are still photosynthetic.
In your childhood summers, you’d spend hours in the sun and water. Your brown-blonde hair turned green, the color of algae. You think, maybe this wasn’t because of high counts of copper in pool water. Maybe you were re-growing chloroplasts in your cells, slowly returning to Plantae.
There are mollusks that maintain a symbiotic relationship with the algae they eat. These sea slugs steal the chloroplasts and can go without eating for up to nine months.
When this sea slug bathes herself in sunlight and is fed, is satisfied, is she Plantae or Animalia?
There are people who believe they can be fed by sun gazing alone. Breatharians. They stare directly into the sun, and eventually, find they do not need to eat. Breathariansm believes that humans do not need food for energy. Nutrition scientists and physicians believe this is physiologically impossible. Humans don’t have plant cells. It’s considered pseudoscience.
But there are Breatharians—many in India—who claim to have not eaten food for years. There are also Breatharians who have died of starvation and dehydration.
You lie on the ground on the bank of a mountain lake, your face to the sun, 4,000-feet closer than normal. You feel your body glowing pink. Each ray lights a nerve. Your nose, chest, belly, toes, shoulders. It heats you to the bone.
It’s late summer in the Northwest, and you hope this moment will fill you for the coming clouds and rain and cold. You take a bite of cantaloupe, the flavor of sunset, and breathe in the light.