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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 3:12 pm | Fair 64º


Susan Ann Darley: Discovering Our Luminosity Within

As a child I spent my summers in the small, sleepy town of Clarksville, Ark., with my grandparents. My brothers and I delighted in capturing the luminescent lightning bugs that lit up the humid night air. Also known as fireflies, these fascinating insects have captivated children for ages.

As an adult, I hiked at night in the dusty hills of Griffith Park with the eerie howling of coyotes close by as we trekked to the top of Mount Hollywood, where thousands of lights offer a 360-degree panoramic view of Los Angeles. One summer my friend and I, to our amazement, discovered glow worms nestled in the dry brush emitting their bright green light in the darkness.

The production of their light is called bioluminescence. Actually, many living organisms such as the firefly and various fish, fungi and bacteria produce light and use it like we use flashlights. Artificial light is incandescence, which generates heat and can waste enormous amounts of energy. Glowing organisms create luminescent light, which is far more efficient, plus incredibly beautiful.

Like moths, the human species seems to gravitate to the light, or at least holds a fascination for it. Angels and fairies are often portrayed with the soft glow of luminescent light. We have created glow-in-the-dark objects from nail polish to plastic stars that we put on our ceilings. Some people claim to see auras, which have been described as the ability to see various health conditions and the emotions of others.

And, since the moment calls for it, I’ll share my own incredibly unusual “light” experience. Over 30 years ago, I sat at my piano, which I had not played for years, and composed the music for a set of lyrics handed to me by a friend. Having no musical background, it took all day and night.

Late at night, completely exhausted but loving the sounds that transpired, I ran my bath water and crawled in. Lying with my head on the rim of the tub, I stared mindlessly at the water pouring in. In a heartbeat, literally one half of the water became glow worm green and the other side a vibrant peach. The colors were “out of this world.” Alive, brilliant, luminescent, glowing.

For the next two years, I experienced such lights on a daily basis — driving to work, on a plate of food, while looking at someone, at the piano. I didn’t mention them to others, except a close friend or two. I just enjoyed the experience and studied color and the energy behind it — how sound was light and paintings at another level could be heard. I’ve yet been able to prove that one.

It’s fascinating to me that there are biloluminescent insects, animals and sea creatures, including jellyfish, squid life, marine worms and fish. They depend on their light for survival.

And don’t we? Whether figuratively or literally, we need light to see, to understand, become aware, enlightened. We know now how to make artificial light.

Perhaps the next step is to discover our luminosity, the light within. Then realize that all along the light at the end of the tunnel has simply been us.

Susan Ann Darley is a consultant and creativity coach for corporations and individuals. Click here for more information, or contact her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.845.3036. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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