On and off today I have come across references to the lunar orbit of people from Earth that gave us the "Earthrise" photo below. The themes of light and dark and their interaction form the foundation of so much literature, cultural reference and religious expression.
From the old monuments that celebrated, and measured, the return of the sun to the expressions of light emerging from darkness in many religious texts to the image of the Earth as she rises from inky darkness over the Lunar horizon.
Powerful, powerful images.
The images apply as neatly to the current situation in the world as they did to the builders of Newgrange in Ireland. That is, imperfectly and through the lens of our own beliefs.
Some, such as a commenter on a news site today who felt it necessary to say that the image did not display a "rise" because the Moon was off to the right, cannot see the image at all. They are mired in the details and focused on what isn't.
For others these themes have a distinct religious flavor - with more or less focus on light or dark depending on how apocalyptical or transcendent their religious flavor is.
My father was a pessimist in many ways - with one shining exception. He had a profound faith in our ability to work our way out of our difficulties. By "our" I mean the race, we wonderfully flawed humans.
At times I have caught myself almost planning for the self-destruction of the human race. Not hard to do with the gloom and darkness to be heard and seen all around.
I prefer my father's faith - and most often share it.
As so many of our belief systems have always proclaimed - the darkness does not prevail. This, for me, is a fundamental strand of belief in ourselves. So fundamental that, for me, it is truth.
Merry Christmas to all and, from the depth of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere, may the returning light warm you to the core.