A Light in the Dark

A Light in the Dark

At dusk, I was walking with friends on the farm. As we moved into the shadows behind the barn, the ground shifted. Our eyes adjusted, and we were walking in a field of stars—tiny lights in the grass. A closer look showed us firefly larvae, incapable of flight just yet, but already filled with glowing luciferin, the molecule that leads to bioluminescence. Without the darkness, they were invisible. This three-part essay is about the Dark, particularly about dark ecology—an ecology that rejects the category of “nature” and holds that we …