Dark Sky Island

The gorgeous Isle of Sark, the smallest self-governing island in Europe, is located in the English channel 130 miles off the southern English coast. In January 2011 it became the world’s first “Dark Sky island” by controlling light pollution. The island’s single electricity source is an oil-fired power station, and there are no cars, streetlights or even paved roads: you can only get around by bike, horse, carriage or tractor-drawn bus. Due to the lack of light pollution, the Milky Way stretches gloriously overhead—from horizon to horizon across the pristine black sky.

Remember that time I posted about the beauty of seeing the stars away from the cities in Australia, yeah. It was that gorgeous.

If you have never seen the stars without the sickly glow of city lights obscuring their beauty, it is an eye opening experience that I highly recommend.  4 years ago I was in the Australian outback as part of a student ambassador program, I was at a cattle ranch, 40 minutes by car from the nearest town, the lack of streetlamps and lit signage cleared the view to the stars above.

With your back against a foreign soil, thousands and thousands of miles away from your home, looking up and being able to see the Milky Way with your naked eyes is a humbling experience.

Looking up at those stars, many of which were long dead, yet shined so brightly, stirred something in me. A desire to rise above the pettiness of others. A desire to leave a mark on the world. I was interested in the flow of information through history, the social selection of which social memes to perpetuate and pass on and which ones to discard in their obsolescence. 

I want to create something wonderful that might end up changing how we act, even if it only changed a few people and sparked some crucial debate about how we act, I would be content. I decided I would put my creative talents to good use. 

I had this same experience on the back roads in Kenya.  When our bus broke down for the millionth time and everyone was sleeping, I was walking outside looking at the Milky Way, literally weeping from the beauty and grandeur of it.  I was there on a mission trip if y’all can believe it, that was a different part of my life, but being alone with the stars and the ocean were the most spiritual experiences I had.  Also sitting at a little rest stop in the middle of nowhere drinking fresh black tea with cane sugar.  I’ve tried to find tea as good, but it seems like the import process steals something from it, because I’ve never found Kenyan Tea like the tea I had in Kenya.