…Filling the darkness
with order and light
you are the sentinels
silent and sure
keeping watch in the night…
— “Stars” from Les Miserable
No, I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I couldn’t help but think it after seeing what our darkened cities would show of the night sky, (H/T):
If you live in a heavily populated area, chances are you don’t see the stars in the night sky all that often. Light pollution in cities and large towns turns the sky into a hazy, detail-free area.
So what are we missing?
Well, these beautiful and cleverly executed photos from French photographer Thierry Cohen should give you some idea. The series is called ‘Darkened Cities’, and it imagines what the skies over major cities around the world would look like if all the lights went out.
One of the greatest nights of my life was spent gazing out over the Atlantic Ocean, while at Montauk, and seeing just a hint of what Cohen’s genius brings and got me thinking thusly:
Does the fact that we can no longer see the stars have anything to do with our loss of wonder? These things, the stars, and all creation – they are more splendid, perfect, beautiful and lasting than anything man can create or even conceive.
It seems like when we were more aware of milky ways and horizons, it was easier to believe. Could Joan of Arc have led her army, could she even have thought to, could she have trusted enough, without having a sense of something greater, bigger than herself?
We have obliterated the stars with our artificial light – but perhaps we’ve blinded ourselves, too. Without the wonder, the greatness of the galaxies in our sight, we’ve lost the ability to believe in, or expect, miracles.
When you cannot see the glory of God’s creation, how can you wish to glorify the Lord? No longer seeing anything greater than ourselves, we turn inward, we worship our own thoughts, our invention, our desire.
Check out the whole photo series. It’s wonderful! And we need more wonder.