Friday, August 12, 2016

Pollution, Perseids and the Psalms

When I first got up this morning, several hours before sunrise, I slipped outside in the hopes of seeing the Perseid meteor shower.  I had heard all the reports that said this year's version should be glorious.  I expected that light pollution would get in the way, but I've seen shooting stars since moving down here.

I looked up, and rain dripped in my face.  I looked at the one clear space of sky, the 5 stars as faint pinpricks.  No meteor sightings this morning, at least not for me.

Still, I gave thanks for the rain that will nourish my newly planted shrubs.  I heard the air conditioners humming around me--I gave thanks for this technology which makes it possible to sleep down here in the middle of summer.

I live in a place of population density, which means lots of electric lights which makes it hard to appreciate the larger universe.  I'm grateful that I've had the experience of looking at the night sky in a darker place.

I thought of the Psalms that make up the liturgy of the hours, the way I begin many days.  I thought about the natural world that is part of the Psalms, and I wondered how a modern Psalmist might approach pollution of all sorts.

Can we find God in the pollution?  The Psalmists would tell us that we can.  The ancient prophets might remind us that we're most likely to find God in the polluted places--if we keep our eyes open.

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