There is a pole near the International Bocce Court at the end of Gallagher Lane. Atop this pole is a bright lamp that is never turned off. All night long it blazes away, slashing beams of light through the trees and opening great wounds in the darkness of the Valley.
I understand that commerce requires artificial light in the civilized and settled areas of La Mancha. But the Valley has no commerce. The Valley is the womb and tomb of La Mancha. Life rises out of the Valley at its genesis and descends into the Valley at its exodus. There are few wild places left in Austin, and this is one of them. The Valley needs darkness. It needs Night to fall.
I brought this up with Tommy, before he left La Mancha. He had no idea who put the light there or why. I got the same answer from others. No one knew who put the light on the pole or how to turn it off.
So I decided to do something about it. And now I am confessing to having committed an act of sabotage. I traced the wires, found the breaker box, and threw the breaker switch. A blanket of rich, heavy darkness fell instantly over the Valley. I was ecstatic and headed up to the bow of Dulcinea, one of the best views of the Valley, to see the glory of it.
The tops of the trees, normally frosted with light, were dark. Without light constricting my pupils, the white limestone trails and silvery trunks slowly emerged from the blackness. Their colors were those of Luna. Silver and blue and full of mischief.
I saw that it was good.
That was three months ago. No one noticed. No one said anything. It’s as if that light never existed.
And glorious darkness has returned to our Valley.