Striding forth, leaving the city behind. Parklands, the so called lungs of the city, emerge. They are tame pale versions of the bushland that once covered this place.
The rotund moon, pregnant with the promise of desires set free, flits in and out of the tops of trees. Neon lights mark the road like tall straight sentinels keeping the night at bay.
We are warned to keep clear of the parklands at night. Bad things happen in the treed gloom of night. Still, even here the stars remain mere faint dots. Their true brilliance obscured by the neon guardians of modern civilisation. A firm line of defence obstructing the full awareness of our vast universe lit by countless stars, each one a galaxy of possibility.
In these parklands even trees are denied the privacy of the night time darkness. Floodlights aimed at eucalypts expose stark white limbs, condemning these trees to a life of eternal daytime. They too surely deserve a time of rest. A time for nocturnal creatures to come out and cavort amongst the tree’s splayed limbs.
Let us dim these lights of neon and remember a more seemly time where night and day each had their own place and magic to share.
Striding further I return to urban streets lit even more brightly and the dream recedes. “Hush, let it go. Join us in the great forgetting” urge these neon devils. Still that vision lingers of a sky replete with shining moon and stars calling possums out to play.
This was inspired by an article discussing the negative effects of light pollution on reproduction of Australian animals. Numerous studies have found various negative impacts that arise from our ever increasing levels of light pollution. For instance artificial lighting affects the circadian rhythm of humans and other animals. If you are interested a couple of good summary articles are:
- Light Pollution Effects on Wildlife and Ecosystems – International Dark Sky Association
- Dim the lights to restore nature’s body clock – The Conversation