The Loss of Darkness

Man standing under the Milky Way

Imagine losing the ability to dream. It’s a scary thought because it is already happening and impacting large parts of the global population.
This imminent threat doesn’t lurk in the darkness as it’s light itself causing the problem.
I’m talking about light pollution and the loss of the natural night sky.

Due to increasing urbanization and poor light management, fewer and fewer people have experienced the magic of the Milky Way crossing the starlight sky. Currently, it is estimated 83% of the world population is living under light-polluted skies.

The stars are a big part of our history. Virtually all civilizations have been inspired by the night sky, using the stars to tell their stories from generation to generation. The stars have guided farmers when to seed and harvest and directing sailors to reach their shores.

Limiting light pollution and preserving natural darkness has several benefits important to all of us.The light pollution is interfering our hormonal balance and sleep patterns increasing our risk of developing health issues and depression, impacting our physical and mental wellbeing.
Wildlife and ecosystems suffer greatly from the increasing light pollution, as both animals and plants survival and reproduction is harmed with the loss of night.

The aspect of saving energy when limiting light pollution is a nice bonus and should be taken seriously by every town planner and government.

It shouldn’t be a privilege for future generations to experience the awe of the night sky. It’s our responsibility to turn off the lights, look up and let the dreams live.

We Are All Travelers

earth image

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, To roam the roads of lands remote, To travel is to live.”

H.C. Andersen

And indeed, we are all travelers.

We tend to forget earth is a massive spaceship traveling through space. We do not notice our journey through the cosmos since the ground covered stays unknown to our attention. We lack reference points to draw our attention to where we are heading. We often act as if we were hardcoded for repetition: the daily spin of the Earth, the yearly roundtrip around the sun defining the passing of days and years.
If we don’t pay attention repetition can turn the future into a mere reflection of the past. Repetition might lure us with its false sense of protection, but the price is often paid in a substantial devaluation of our understanding of time. Life can become like a market carrousel at too high speed. If it spins too fast, everything becomes blurry.

We need reference points to know where we are. Often we can find this through traveling meeting new cultures and new settings. Sometimes it is enough merely to take a break and look up.

Take a look at this postcard from an old space traveler. When Earth passes through the trail of an old comet, we get a chance to see what is commonly known as falling stars or meteors.
The short trails of light are created when specks of sand or dust enter the earth’s atmosphere and are gone as quickly as they appear.

Travel, look up, be in this present moment.