Thursday, March 14, 2013
For one night last month the city was incandescent. Plain surfaces - coloured with light - some buildings working like a child's kaleidoscope. Illuminations, shadows, projections - everywhere lamps working to hold back the night.
Before electrics the world would have been dark through the night. Properly dark but for the moon. Still darkness would have stood close to houses separating interiors and domesticity from the nocturnal doings of owls and bats, moths and monsters. The world would have been thick with shadows and the richer for stars.
Melbourne's one White Night was a magic lantern of entertainment - a reminder of the precious commodity that is light - and the large chunk of life called night.Visited by hoards - by children and adults alike - I hope it visits us again.
After the heat and people, the walking and wonder I was reminded of an excursion M and I took to see a colony of glow worms. We left the city after work and drove 3 hours to the coast - made camp, ate dinner and then drove again into the darkness to a thickly wooded piece of bush. Pulling on jumpers and mittens and bringing a blanket from the back seat of the car we were excited, cold, expectant. Then I realized we had left the flashlight in the tent back at camp. Too late and too tired to turn back - hand in hand with only a matchstick sized key light we walked the pitch black path into the forest. After 10 minutes or so our eyes adjusted and we saw the first spot of light. A half hour later everything was aglow.