Friday, November 09, 2007

Planetary Philosopher

Johnny knew. He knew deep down that he was different. Not in an outcast sort of way. It was just an intuitive knowing. The way you know if you're a math person or a language person or an art person.
In fourth grade, his science teacher was educating the class about the solar system. He was fascinated with the model mobile hanging from the ceiling of the classroom--particularly with the vastness of the sun. An incurable philosopher at heart, Mrs. Owsly was nearly always finding ways for her students to draw some life-affirming truth from the lessons they learned from science.

That day, she told the class that some people are suns and other people are planets. Suns are people who are always on. Suns shine brightly. Suns are inevitably the center of attention, and usually a solo act. Planets, on the other hand, are more subdued. Planets function in community, working well with others. Planets draw their energy from suns, and don't mind not being the center of attention.

Johnny listened intently, being a bit of a philosopher himself. He waited for the next kind of solar system person to be described, but Mrs. Owsly was done. People are either one or the other...suns or planets. Johnny just smiled and breathed a deep sigh of satisfaction. Even though his teacher never mentioned it, he knew that he was a moon. He was humble enough to realize that he was not the center of the universe. He was truthful enough to know that he was too different from the rest to be a planet. He knew. He was a moon. He was content to reflect the glory of the sun, while still illuminating the planets around him with the glow of his soul.

Mrs. Owsly didn't have to know that moons were people too.

4 comments:

Mrs. G. said...

Johnny sounds like the real philosopher. Nice writing.

Cherry said...

Beautifully written!

Starshine said...

Mrs. G - He is-=I meant for the title to be about him! :)

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Very nice. :) What would Mrs. O say about nebula, I wonder?