The Pox Take All White Light!
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" It's officially autumn. Day and night were balanced for a moment, but now the night will prevail. For awhile. We can deal with it.
There's a running joke in my household about salad. I like steamed vegetables of every kind. I like stews and stir-fries. But I just don't care for salad -- not even a well-made salad, and trust me, after 40 years of cooking, I know how to make a salad.
Whenever I begin to make a salad, I always kvetch about it. I call salad "leaves." I usually say, "Damn all leaves! Why do we eat leaves? The pox take all leaves!"
This cracks my family up. When Mr. Johnson does the grocery shopping, he says, "Do we need leaves?"
To which I invariably reply: "Damn all leaves! Leave those leaves at the store! A pox on all leaves!"
Today at my school I was using a picture book to teach a reading strategy. It's a story called "Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs" by Tomie de Paola, and it's a terrific little book.
On two occasions in the book, the hero looks out the window and sees a shooting star.
In several of my classes, the students volunteered the information that they'd never seen a shooting star. They even knew why. It's because they live in Camden, where there's so much white light you can barely see the sky at all. Philadelphia, right across the river, is even worse. Go ahead. Find a star, let alone a meteor.
During my course of years, I've been blessed to see several spectacular meteor showers. It's rather a quest, if you want to do it. First you have to know when the big showers are due (Leonids and Perseids), then you have to be willing to get up at some odd hour of the night, and then you're at the mercy of the weather.
Where I live, you're also at the mercy of white light. There's literally no place that isn't lit up in some way at night, except for wooded areas. Have you noticed? Wooded areas contain trees, and it's hard to see meteors when there are trees in the way.
So I shake my fist at the porch lights, and the street lights, and the auto headlights, and the night lights in all the buildings. A pox upon all white light!
Yes, yes, I know all about burglars and the evildoers who thrive in the darkness. I admit that night lights are a necessary part of urban and suburban life. But just like I hate salad (but it's good for me and I eat it), I hate white light. Damn it all! No one should die without seeing a shooting star.