The stoic week theme for today has reminded me of growing up always aware of the night sky, and how I would look at the stars, everywhere you put your eyes there were stars upon stars. I don’t know where I could go now to see a sky like that. I was taken to a Dark Sky site a few years ago, and it was nothing like the sky I remembered from my youth. Those stars really put things into perspective for me, and all my little growing up problems vanished into inconsequence. How much has the human race lost by hiding the stars? Does anyone remember when there was an earthquake and all the lights in Los Angeles were out, and people called up radio stations wondering what was wrong with the sky. People who in all their lives had never seen the beautiful night sky that Planet Earth is blessed with. Where I live now, from my window at night I have only been able to see the moon and bright planets. No stars. I miss even the impoverished view of major constellations I enjoyed in the backyard of my former home. It is so much easier to learn these lessons of stoicism if we can connect with the nature of the planet, if we can find a forest with huge trees, or a meadow buzzing with insects and bright with flowers, or, especially and “above all” the view of the universe in the dark canopy of the night sky. Light hitting the retina after journeying for hundreds, thousands, millions of years….
Once upon a time humans spent half their time beneath a canopy of stars. We knew them by name and understood their rhythm. Then one day we received the gift of fire. Not only did it frighten away circling predators and hold off nightmares, but so did the stars flee away and a curtain of darkness fell.