Why Do We Seek the Light?February 18, 2016

As Melburnians are about to celebrate White Night Melbourne, you begin to wonder about its origin. Let's not look at the history of the city, as man's fascination with light goes way back. The invention of fire is the first thing that comes to mind. Imagine our forefathers, who are wary of nocturnal creatures. They sought the cave, but it was cold inside. And they may be the first case of fantasy prone personality. (They would associate darkness with evil. It could not be different from the Ancient Greeks, who thought of Hades and the Underworld.) But there's more to it. Here are some information:

You surely heard about the Min MIn Light. Your father grew up in Alice Springs, where the Outback was not far away. He told you stories about the Min Min Light, which followed him whenever he would go. But it disappeared whenever he turned around. It was similar to Will-o'-the-wisp, which you recalled in detail. (Your mother was a native of Kent.) It wasn't the centuries-old churches, which lost its colour during (the era of) Reformation. There were many things to be discovered in the countryside, but you have trepidation. (And it had nothing to do with the werewolves in the moor. Your coursemate, a huge fan of horror films, told you about “An American Werewolf in London”.) You acknowledged the supernatural side, but only after backpacking in Thailand last winter.

Benjamin Franklin pressed his luck, and got what he wanted. Your housemate was a Amy Grant fan. (His girlfriend hails from Nashville.) You were surprised, as he would fancy the English pop rock bands. But a few lines from "Galileo" made you stop your reading. It was Benjamin Franklin's discovery of electricity. It happened during a stormy evening. If not for him, then you would be groping in the dark. You don't have time for trivia, though.

You're aware of sun-worshippers around the world. You passed by Stonehenge, the first of many monoliths you've seen in England. Your cousin didn't show the slightest interest, but he knew a great deal about sun worship. He wrote a paper, which revealed his passion on Mesoamerican civilizations. This might be the reason why these worshippers would fear the eclipse. You agreed after reading "King Solomon's Mines". A lunar eclipse saved Allan Quartermain's life.

All of these are linked to White Night Melbourne, which you wouldn't miss for the world. You can't wait for the bright lights, which might make Sydneysiders green with envy. You must finish your papers first.

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