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In the Land of Living Skies

Why it’s important to live in the dark

Humanity has long sought to literally and metaphorically banish darkness. But as poet and novelist Suzannah Showler writes in the May issue, succeeding in that aim poses great spiritual and biological risk. Showler describes her journey to Grasslands National Park, the darkest place in Canada, to commune with obscurity. Her essay examines the cultural and philosophical history of light and darkness, as well as the burgeoning movement to reclaim the night. What Showler finds in the sky is more intricate than just a beautiful starscape: it’s a confrontation with herself and what lies far beyond. She joins web editor Violet Lucca for a discussion of the human instinct to colonize the night, the possibilities for global health and happiness offered by the fight against light pollution, and the idea that chasing away darkness isn’t the only path to illumination.

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May 2022

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