Too much of a good thing? I’d never thought of it before, with regards to light.
Light is good, of course. I live in Florida. I’m happy living in a place where the sun shines pretty much year round. I don’t want to live in a part of the country or even a house with too little light.
But, what about having too much light? I love the sunshine all day, most every day. I don’t, however, love the sunshine enough to want it all night.
I’d never really stopped to ponder that thought until today when I read a mini review of a book called: Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark.
I love the light, but I have no interest in giving up the beauty of the night, either. The moon has been exceptionally brilliant in my night sky this week. I’ve enjoyed hanging out laundry or sitting on my porch looking at it. But night here can never compare to places in Africa where I’ve lived, where the moon and stars did not have to compete with artificial light.
One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen was an eclipse in a town without electricity. To start out with a moon that was so bright you could see shadows, and then transition through smaller and smaller shadows until there was complete darkness, and then back again to the moon’s brightness. I remember it being a great way to spend a few hours.
Well, now I’m starting to wax nostalgic and wander from the point of this post.
The book I mention above is a collection of essays celebrating the gifts of night and darkness, mourning some of the losses that happen when night is artificially interrupted and drawing analogies to the rest of our lives from the importance of darkness.
I’ve not read the book. This quote, however, has given me something to ponder while I’m out running errands today:
Our desire for meaning keeps us reaching for greater clarity and luminosity. But we confound lucidity with kilowatts. We confuse artificial light with enlightenment. Therein lies a greater fear: that we humans might be so afraid of darkness that we, for a time, would destroy it, thus banishing the illumination that darkness brings.