Space Flora | Origins: The Sunflower Paradise
Dina and Pauline were like the other growths. They, like the Ring Root of Saturn, and the Orchids of Mars, had grown in the matter of days, their stalks pushing through to greet the galaxy around them. They absorbed the rays of a million suns, drinking the Milky Way lazily as they swayed in the solar winds. They were sunflowers, large and radiant, showing no concern for vacuum and no need for mammalian exhales to breathe in.
But Dina and Pauline were different in some ways. Of course, all plants can talk - they are subtle to the human eyes and ears, but to the flora around them, each plant was as quiet or as loud as they liked. Dina and Pauline however, had grown eyes and mouths, and although the humans had no way to decipher the frequencies that penetrated the vacuum, the sunflower pair... Spoke. With their mouths.
Dina and Pauline were also the only two sunflowers to ever grow on the surface of the actual Sun.
Dina enjoyed the silence of space, but Pauline felt the void was a little too boring without some conversation. She swayed closer to Dina, and served her opener.
“So, Halley swung by the other day, and did you know... That we are baffling the scientific community on Earth?” Pauline asked, fishing for interaction.
“No way. Wait, the dolphin scientific community or the human one?” Dina replied, somewhat stilted.
“The human one.”
“Huh. I didn’t know humans could be baffled.”
“Yeah, me neither.”
The silence swept over the sun’s surface. Dina took a pause to process the supposed bafflement of the space simians on their pale blue dot, wondering what was so fascinating about two flowers in the middle of, to her, nowhere.
“... So, why are they baffled?” Dina asked.
“I have no idea.”
The silence bubbled again. Pauline found it almost insufferable, as the bubble grew and grew. It simply needed to be popped. What’s the use in staring at all of existence if you can’t share your thoughts with someone?
“... Hey, do you ever wonder how we can survive growing on the sun?” Pauline asked Dina.
“Not really.” Dina had expended her interest in conversation for the day.
“You’ve never wondered how we can grow on a big fireball while everything else incinerates?”
“No. We’re sunflowers, why do you think we’re called that?”
“Halley said it’s cause we look like a sun.” Pauline twirled, emulating a flower’s shrug. Dina was unenthused.
“That’s ridiculous.” Dina spoke sharply, then continued. “We look nothing like this place. It’s simple. We’re sunflowers, we grow on the sun.”
“Okay but how do we survive and other things don’t?”
“It’s simple, Pauline. We’re chill.”
“Chill?” Pauline was baffled. Dina had always seemed the more uptight of the two. Chill? Dina?
“Yeah, you gotta be chill to grow on the sun. We don’t embody the sun’s heat - we embody the sun’s light.”
Dina was proud with her answer, but as Pauline’s sunflower face contorted into skepticism, she felt an annoyance stir.
“... Okay. I’m not sure.” Pauline said. Dina almost cut Pauline off. She pierced the vacuum with an exasperated question.
“Right then, genius - why do we grow on the sun then?”
“I don’t know, that’s why I asked you! All I know is that my grandpa came here to evade taxes.”
“It’s cause we’re chill. We’re radiant.”
“Okay. Radiant. Sounds a little goofy to me.”
The silence swept over the sun once more, the tidal waves of introspection crashing against the minds of the sunflower pair. Pauline searched the folds of her brain for more small talk, but she decided to let it go.
There was an unspoken comfort in enjoying Dina’s presence the way Dina liked it: in silence, on the sun where no one else could tread but her favorite inquisitive flower, Pauline.