A crisp, hon­ey-col­ored light lazi­ly dripped between the branch­es and poured itself over the wild horse. The light had trav­eled for eight min­utes, tra­vers­ing 95 mil­lion miles filled with space, dust, clouds, bac­te­ria, moun­tains, insects, trees, and a lot more, just so it could dap­ple the wild horse and enter my cam­era. The horse looked at me; I choose to call him dap­pled. Click, went the shutter.

Dap­pled had lost inter­est in me and turned away. He looked beau­ti­ful stand­ing there in the sun­light, between the trees and the iri­des­cent grass that reflect­ed a fil­tered, green hue back onto his brown body. There was some­thing fun­ny about him. He kept lift­ing his left leg up, then down, then up, then down. I moved clos­er. He looked towards me. His leg was in the air again, but this time, it stayed there. I went clos­er still, and then I under­stood — he had been wound­ed. A small, scar­let splotch of blood dripped down his low­er left leg, paint­ing the grass red. I couldn’t tell if he was in pain or not, for his brown eyes were as serene as the ocean waves crash­ing a mile towards the north.

At first, the blood made me feel incred­i­bly uncom­fort­able, espe­cial­ly because there was noth­ing I could do to help Dap­pled; he was a wild horse, after all, in a small island on the Caribbean sea. So I looked down at the grass, try­ing to avoid his eyes. Green and red, col­or har­mo­ny, I thought. Christ­mas I thought.

Slow­ly, the grass became the focus of my atten­tion. It seemed to be reach­ing towards the sky, feed­ing on the light. If you ever look at a blade of grass under a micro­scope, you will see mol­e­cules of chloro­plas­ts swim­ming in a sea of cyto­plasm, dis­trib­ut­ing ener­gy to the plant. Dive deep­er with your micro­scope, and you will find chloro­phyll. Chloro­phyll loves to eat the col­or blue and red for ener­gy (pho­to­syn­the­sis), but isn’t so fond of green. In fact, it dis­likes green so much that it throws almost all of it up, reflect­ing it back into the world. Which is why plants end up look­ing green. Dive deep­er still into the chloro­phyll and you will dis­cov­er a mol­e­cule com­posed of car­bon, hydro­gen, oxy­gen, and nitro­gen, all revolv­ing around an atom of mag­ne­sium. If you some­how per­formed micro­scop­ic surgery on the cell and replaced the mag­ne­sium atom with iron, you would get blood, the same type of blood run­ning through our veins, the same type of blood paint­ing the grass red. How sim­i­lar we all are, I thought. We were all bloody crea­tures, roam­ing wild­ly through life. I looked up at Dap­pled again.