Moonlight and darkness

Was just out walking in the moonlight, and thinking about how different things look when the power is out.  We take electricity for granted in the U.S., and outages are rare.  But I have experienced a wide-spread outage a couple of times, and it is amazing how dark it gets.  Suddenly, a flashlight can be seen a kilometer away, and headlights are visible across the valley.  On a night when the moon is casting distinct shadows, like tonight, a person can walk around outside fairly easily.  But on a moonless or overcast night, the terrain is invisible, and stumbling about is common.

Sometimes, I have to remind myself that there are large parts of the world where electricity is rare, or completely absent, and many places that do have electricity only have it for certain hours of the day.  Having the power on 24/7 is a luxury, not a right, and we are unaware of the people and infrastructure that bring it to us.  Yet, the power is often one of the first utilities that gets back in service after a disaster.  Lineman from all over the country will respond to widespread outages, such as what an ice storm can cause.  Although I wish that there was less light pollution, because I enjoy looking at the stars, I think electricity is wonderful.

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