Even though it is still winter here the days are getting noticeably longer. It is dark when I leave for work in the morning but on my return, instead of standing in the dark at the train station waiting for my bus, I stand watching the sun moving toward sunset. At least I do when it is sunny. February has been a gloomy month.
I am reading Natalie Angier’s book The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science and enjoying it very much. It’s like high school science rushing back at me but in a good way. I loved science in high school but it had to be ruined by the high school part of it all. Not that high school was especially bad, but I know if I could take those science classes now, I would like them even more than I did then.
I was reading the chapter on physics in Angier’s book the other night and she is talking about electromagnetic radiation, more commonly known as light. Nearly all the energy we get here on earth originates in waves of electromagnetic radiation from our lovely sun. Plants are really amazingly awesome things because they turn light into food. Yeah, I know, we all know this. But then Angier quotes Daniel Nocera of MIT:
When you eat a green leafy vegetable, you are eating photons of solar energy. […] You are biting the light of the sun.
I had never thought about it that way. To look out the window at the gray sky while chewing the lettuce in my salad or crunching the sunflower sprouts on my sandwich and know that I am not only biting sunlight but eating it. It feels good. Not to mention sunshine tastes delicious!
If I am lucky spring is a month away. If not, a month and a half to two months. For now though, I can console myself by eating sunshine.