Headline, March 20 2019/ ''' '' THE CAMPFIRE LOG '' '''

''' '' THE CAMPFIRE LOG '' '''

IN A WORLD WHERE EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED, something very, very essential is lost.

I don't remember ever being afraid of the dark.

If my mother were still alive perhaps she'd remind me of times when I begged to leave the light on at bedtime or came scurrying into my parents' room, terrified of monsters that lurked in the pitch black corners of my own.

But what I remember is standing on the back seat of a Galaxy 500, looking out a rear window as my mother drives along the unlit country roads.

I stare, with a deep thrill I can't name, at the black sky above and then at the rushing road below, so briefly illuminated by the car's taillights before it disappears into endless shadow.

I remember breathing in the cold of a moonless winter night, as I stand alone, on a hillside near our house. The lights of home are somewhere behind me, but in front of me there's nothing but a darkness so profound I can't be sure where the sky meets the earth.

Joy stirs in me and then falls away as I become lost to myself, one with everything.

I remember wondering in the woods as evening falls, the shadows growing and deepening between the trees, night filling up the world. There's a power carried on this darkness - primal, living magic. I can feel it enter me. Anything is possible.

I remember lying in bed in the windowless attic of my grandmother's house, shut away from the lighted rooms below, from the streetlights outside. I feel weightless and free.

In all these memories I am alone, or effectively alone. Even in the car, I was alone with my thoughts, my mother silent and absorbed in thoughts of her own.

The deep beauty of darkness can emerge only in solitude, it seems. At least, this is true of me.

I can recollect plenty of other long-ago experiences in the dark - night camping on a remote lakeside with my family, ghost stories around campfires and sleepover flashlight games with gaggles of shrieking girls.

There was no magic in any of that.

All these memories are from my rural childhood 50 years ago, when darkness was much more abundant, when it tool over the world each night and artificial lights were so scarce they barely registered in the black expanse.

We've mostly lost darkness now. Even deep in the country, half the houses are adorned with glaring  24-hour lights that push into the rounding woods and invade the sky.

In more urban places there's scarcely a dark corner left. The whole world is lit up like an Interstate truck stop, nominally to make us safer.

Perhaps it does, to a degree, though the apparent belief that security is directly proportional to lumens seems pretty dubious. And we still don't seem to feel any safer.

Does all that unnatural light help us look one another in the eye more readily, trust our neighbours more, greet the strangers we ca see so clearly? Not that I can tell.

When I brought my house in this small town outside Nashville more than 20 years ago, there was not a streetlight visible in any direction, and everyone along the road turned off the outdoor lights at bedtime.

On a moonless night, the darkness was broken only by the headlights of passing cars.

I used to step outside my door on summer nights just to stare at the Milky Way. I wish I had done it more. As the lights of development have crept in, the Milky Way has faded, receding like a delicate plant under a brutal sun.

Now I step outside my door and stare at the bank of round-the-clock lights from the new houses that have been built on a nearby hillside - patent blue LED lights that assault my eye, even from 100 yards away.

I try hard to make peace with the presence of these lights, to see them as cozy reminders of human presence, as neighbors, with all the warm associations that can, at least, potentially, entail.

This never works.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on masterly writings. continues. The World Students Society thanks author, Maria Browning.

With respectful dedication to the Grandparents, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011:

''' Seems - Sonar '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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