Last weekend the sun shined so brightly that on Monday the mayor held a press conference just to scold us all, reminding everyone to stay home. She has nothing to worry about this grey weekend, but isn’t it a miracle that through dark clouds and fog the sun still lights up the world?

No one knows if gods exist but we all know godlike power: It greets us every morning. The sun is so intense it can’t help but dole out curses with its blessings. It‘s the source of life but, like any old wrathful god, also death. It fills our harvest with nutrition and energy, but also scorches fields to desolation. It warms our skin and nurtures our bodies, but too much dehydrates us, frying our brains into stroke. It dazzles the world with color—flowers, rainbows, sunsets—but look at the source itself and everything goes black.

Endlessly shifting its radiant white light across the sky, our local star is the divinity—to borrow from George Carlin, the Aztecs, the Egyptians, and almost all ancient peoples’ beliefs—most deserving of our worship.

Today I’m thankful for our local star, the sun.