I live in London, and when I was little, grew up in Singapore. Both urban jungle, concrete everywhere and polluted. Until I visited the English countryside, nature was a foreign concept.
To this day, I still remember seeing my first unpolluted night sky in the Yorskhire Dales.
What prompted my reflection on the night sky was reading a piece in the Atlantic entitled Does The City Have To Mean Life Without Stars?.
Filmmaker Ian Cheney reminisces about growing up in rural Maine, where the nights were pitch black. He describes “the unfiltered night sky as a friend, a familiar, map-like indicator of home”. It was only when he moved to New York that he started thinking deeply about this, which ended up in his documentary The City Dark.
“Our shift to being an urban population raises a lot of questions about our relation to nature. The modern environmental movement took hold only when we started to lose a connection to the natural world. Perhaps so, too, with light pollution. But maybe what matters is what we gain—and what we do—when we do in fact see it.”
[via The Atlantic]