Wednesday, July 4, 2001

A lament against the thieves of the night . . .

The Thieves of the Night

I remember a time when the moon and the stars were the only thieves of the darkness at night. That on a moonless night your hand in front of your face couldn't be outlined without assistance from a firefly or two.

Growing up here, I remember the millions of stars that abound our night skies with the brilliance of the sun at trillions of miles. And when the moon rose full from the east late in the evening, it would complement the night with its warm glow.

Fear, only in our minds, tends to hide among the shadows of darkness, but the country comfort comes from the peace of tree frogs, crickets and creatures of the forest, which seek no light.

Not terribly different from pollutants that might affect our lungs or noises that touch our nerves, the thieves that steal our night from the North are insidiously creeping into our lives like a cancer, challenging the moon for attention and dimming the star's twinkle to a count of only a few.

What a great loss is our night. The worst of these come from massive asphalt blankets whose lights perch at the tip of branchless metal trees. Most vendors are not even open after the sun surrenders to the stars but are yet illuminated by millions of watts, which flood our senses, and are, none the less, considered to be progress. Car dealerships, grocery stores, gas stations and the like. Maybe more like digression then progression.

All have a right to light for safety, to show the way, but not to take more then they need. Whether air pollution, noise pollution, or light pollution, we need to be more conscious and considerate how what we do affects our neighbors.

I feel we've been robbed and what is rightfully ours may never be returned in full: The moon unchallenged, the stars rekindled and the night given back to the creatures of the country. What a sad result from greed. What a shame, where our night has gone.

David Macaluso


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