Why the Sun Rises and Sets

by Nikita Gill

Nikita Gill

Once upon a time, cinnamon people were sky-born. They lived within the clouds,
and the browner their skin was, the longer they lived because they were so
beloved by the sun. No one ever slept because no one ever needed to, and the sun
stayed high in the sky all day. Night did not exist. It did not need to. Boys wearing
burnt-sienna skin with pride would play in the sky, mahogany mothers watched
their chestnut children fly away from them unafraid, because they always came
back and no one feared anything—no one ever had to.
Until the day the earth men came. They saw the sky people and wanted what they
had. Joy. But the earth men didn’t know that joy was not a commodity and thought
the sun’s rays were the secret gold that made these people so happy. The earth men
hunted every little brown boy, girl, mother, father. They cut off their wings. They
took them from the sky. They brought them to the earth and put them on ships as
slaves, and took their sun, their homes, and even their bodies from them. Still, the
sky people sung. Still, they held on. Still, they performed survival magics and
proved so powerful in their spirit. You see, beings that are beloved by the sun do
not get destroyed so easily. The sun, upon losing his people, turned the whole sky
black in mourning, leaving his sister moon and his friends the stars in his stead.
And till his people are restored to their former glory, he rises every morning to
search for them, to hope them home, but every day he hears about how they are
still targeted, injured, put into the ground, their children still murdered, so he
paints the sky black again with his sadness, leaving his sister moon in charge
The sun has never given up hope that one day, they will find their joy again. And
until they do, he will paint the whole sky black to let them know he rises and sets
for them.

Last updated August 12, 2022