"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Hate THAT Light

I love sunshine, and someday I will blog about what a miraculous thing it is to have our privileged planet orbiting where it does around the sun and how ultraviolet radiation is such a great disinfectant and antimicrobial agent.  I love light.  I love to get a tan and soak up all the rays that let my skin produce the much needed vitamin D-3 that so many people are lacking because they buy into all the silly pseudo science that tells them that salt is bad, sunshine is bad, second hand tobacco smoke is killing people, etc.  The list is too long.

Yep. I got a real education after high school, years before I set foot on a college campus, and it drove my professors nuts.  Even worse, I was paying my own way through college and when someone told me to "shut up" in so many words, I let them know that I was paying my own hard earned dollars to be there and I expected some value for my money.  My, how I digress.

I like the sunshine, but I also like the night.  Since coming to the mountains and in my later years, I've learned to appreciate the natural things more than ever.  I go back to memories and think about how much more I appreciate or wish I could have those moments back so that I could appreciate them more.  Driving a 65 foot sportfishing boat on the Pacific Ocean toward the Channel Islands before dawn and watching flying fish popping up out of the water beside me, stunned at the beauty as they gracefully glide along using "ground effect" just inches above the waves.  Sometimes 10 to 20 seconds at a time; which may not seem like much, until you count it out and imagine a fish looking like it is hovering over the water's surface.

I like the night and the amazing beauty of the stars and the moon. The quietness of most things and the sound of the nocturnal creatures that have no enemies at night.  If you have been with me since the beginning of this blog, you know about the meteor shower that occurs in August.  It's worth staying up for, and I got to share it with my sweetie Twyla for her first time.  At least one time, we both saw a great streak of light across the sky.

Once, when I was on an eight day mission as a chase vessel out in the Pacific Ocean, I got to see the night sky with no light pollution.  We were 30 miles off the shore of Santa Barbara, and I was amazed at how much glow still came up off the horizon.  The view was stunning.  A moonless night, and yet the blanket of shimmering stars was enough to make you feel like you were inside of a dome with diamond dust scattered over the outside.

The only street light for miles.
Living so many years in coastal cities in Florida, I had totally forgotten how the night sky should look.  That somehow Adonai never intended for man to work throughout the night.  If you are young, that might be fine for a season.  In the military, owning the night in combat is essential. But ask anybody with a few decades of life and they'll tell you that the body seems to work best when in harmony with daylight and nighttime.  For heaven's sake folks, even plants need night time.  They spend the daylight hours with their chloroplasts furiously making sugar and storing it, but at night time, the hormone gibberellin  causes the plant to stretch and grow taller in the absence of light. Sleep studies show that only in total darkness does the human body produce the right amount of melatonin to help you achieve the restful REM type sleep that you need.

So, I hate a certain light.  I hate any unnecessary artificial light when it isn't needed.  I really hate this light. The people who had this property before Twyla bought it,  had this light installed.  I hate it.  It reminds me of being back in the metropolitan area.  If I drive the seven or eight miles in to Hiawassee, I am not going to see but maybe two or three porch lights on a house in the distance.  And the entire road from here to town doesn't have a single light anywhere on it.  I don't want any part of city life encroaching on life here in the mountains, and yet here is this #$%^ light in my very own back yard.  I don't need it. More importantly, every time I go outside at night I get irritated by it.  It's not something I can ignore by looking in another direction. It's light is cast all over and even if I step in the shadow of the house I am aware that it is still there.  It is like somebody's fingernails on a chalkboard.  But I can't seem to remember to ask Twyla to call the utility company and have that monstrosity removed.

But there is so much to do.  Lot's of other things take up my day and, overall, I love this place, my darling wife and all that goes on with farming and developing a self-sufficient life.  Eventually that light will no longer be there.  The lamp and the pole and the wire and everything else might be there, but the light will be gone.

My next post is guaranteed to be very uplifting and positive, because we've been redecorating the house and making preparations for Sukkot.  Or I might just post about the new dog.  I promise it will be happy.

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