I am laying here in the glow of a night-light, which makes a shadow of a wood heron I have set close to it. The effect is beautiful and very comforting. I can see enough to make my way, but I don’t have the bright light which makes my eyeballs shrivel. The soft light is just right. Light, like so many things, is measured on a continuum—pitch-black to blinding bright, soft light to harsh light, flickering light to solid light, etc.  My moods fall on a continuum too.

There have been times when I have felt discounted by a beautiful, bright sunny day—how dare the light try to brighten the darkness inside of me? I wanted to be in the dark, I deserved to be in the dark. I didn’t want to light a damn candle! My life was lived in semi darkness and I learned to make my way. What was there to see or feel anyway? I learned the sun isn’t worried about ambience or mood lighting— it just shines. Finally one day I saw and felt the sunshine on my face and … I began to trust the sun to shine …always. Whether I could see it or not. 

Digital clock light, cell phone, the iPad I am writing this on, DVD lights, TV and movie screens, car lights, Times Square, and to think our ancient ancestors had only the light from a burning fire or torch. The simplicity of that sounds very restful to me. Our screens can seem like they are our masters, but we can make the decision to “use” them and not allow them to “use”us.

We even use light to heal and have laser therapy and laser knives to do surgery. The invention of the light bulb changed the course of history.  With the flip of a switch God said “There was light.” Must have been on the first day of creation because God needed to see what he/she was doing! Please forgive my loose biblical translation.

The Light House welcomes and is a beacon to safety for ships seeking the shore. Flashlights are as useful as duct tape. Even our cell phones can be used as flashlights. The miners’ helmets with a light on it are necessary to see in the shadows of the mine shaft. The bicyclists in the city use lights to be seen and well as to see in the darkness. Having learned how dark it gets when the electricity goes out I am well supplied with candles and stick matches. I know how to light a candle to dispel the darkness. Light is safety and chases away fear.

Come On Baby, Light My Fire. You Light Up My Life. Let The Midnight Special Shine It’s  Ever-lovin’ Light On Me. Moonlight. We sing about light- from rock and roll, to pop, to folk songs. The romance of moonlight is legendary. All these odes to light testify how central light is to our lives. 

There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

2 thoughts on “Night-lights”

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