An advertisement for a trip to Hawaii in 2022

Walking our demonic dog beneath a full moon, I marveled at how sharp our shadows were against the faded pavement of our subdivision street — and I pondered what lay behind it.

The sun, for one thing, around 93 million miles away. Somewhere on or near the surface of that massive, roiling ball of blazing gas, nuclear reactions produce both heat and light, flinging streams of photons outward at the speed of, well, light. Speeding along at 186,200 miles per second, a big bunch of those photons arrived at Earth’s moon just under eight and a half minutes later. Some were absorbed, but millions of them bounced off and, because of the relative position of the moon and the earth, headed straight for the street where Banjo and I walked. Something like 1.2 seconds later, they streamed all around us, except for those that hit our backsides, either bouncing off or being absorbed in proportion to the darkness of our clothes (or fur).

Where the light was blocked, long shadows stretched before us, reminders that we often live between light and darkness and something in between.

My recollection of physics may be sketchy, but I clearly remember the story of how it all got started. In the beginning, according to the Bible, God said “Let there be light,” and there was light.

With the news as full of shadows as it is these days, I considered that a welcome thought.

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