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Opinions of Friday, 28 February 2020


After the sun: Let there be light

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“This Little Light Of Mine, I’m gonna let it shine. . .” — Harry Dixon Loes, American songwriter

Down the horizon, the sun slips almost unnoticed, signing out with a flash of orange that steadily fades into blackness. Completing its daily East-to-West course for the umpteenth time, emitting intense rays and scorching heat along the way, its job is done — and the world is dark.

Not for long, though.

Just as the sun finally sinks beyond view, new rays — not as bright, not as far-reaching, and certainly not as exalted — take over and are sent forth to illuminate the night. They’ve waited all day for their turn, and now it’s time to shine. One after the other, they blink to life.

On its own, each isn’t capable of much, but with their powers combined, the streets are soon bathed in a sea of light. For the next few hours, at least, the sun’s big, blazing ball would hardly be missed. Not even the faithful, dutiful moon — half, full, or just a slice of it — makes as grand an impression on our night lives as the lesser lights stuck atop poles.

In a sense, that’s what we all are: lesser lights waiting for our time to shine after the suns of this world have had their day. We may never match them in sheer size or might yet, in our own little ways, we’d shine, too. Someday, when it all comes together, we’d have our moment in the sun — or, rather, after the sun(s).

They’d know we were here; to some degree, they’d feel our presence. And maybe if we joined our little lights, rather than try to outshine each other, our collective effect would be even greater and more noticeable.