I was notified by the St. Regis that today was Earth Hour day only because I was checking in on what was going on at Rami’s work and they’ve recently upped their Instagram activity. I wish these things were more popular though. I’d much rather spend my time on #EarthHour instead of what I had been doing with my afternoon: listening to Trump say again that wind “only blows sometimes” so wind-power won’t work…
It was WWF Australia that first started Earth Hour in 2007 with 2.2 million individuals and businesses around Sydney participating and turning off their lights for one hour in a “movement uniting people to take action on environmental issues and protect the planet.” The city of Florence has participated for years in the event and as in years past, this year the city decided to shut off the unnecessary lights on monuments for the hour (Palazzo Vecchio, Torre di Arnolfo, Ponte Vecchio, San Miniato al Monte, The Fake David on the Piazzale Michelangelo, Duomo, Basilica di Santa Croce, Palazzo Sacrati Strozzi, and Palazzo Medici Ricciardi) as well as encouraging businesses and individuals to do the same. The St. Regis took up the call (and I believe have also done this in the past) and just posted an Instagram story of their Winter Garden (with Rami behind the bar) almost completely blacked out in the middle of dinner. This sounds SO COOL if you’re a guest, and a TERRIBLE NIGHTMARE if you’re working. Rami, I hope you made it through.
I thought about walking up the hill with Luna to look out over a darkened Florence, but when I walked into my garden and only saw two stars out (honestly it looked the same as always), I felt like it probably wouldn’t be worth it. In my head, I wanted the Milkyway crossing behind the silhouette of the Duomo. A great big moon over the Ponte Vecchio. I wanted Florence to look like it did to those that walked my road before electricity; finally coming over the crest of the last hill from Bologna and seeing the city – a sleeping shadow in the valley, maybe with low light from flickering torches beyond the walls – not brazenly illuminated as it is now, blocking out the heavens.
It’s like a moment of silence if the whole room isn’t ready for it. Those few people echo through the room – just like the lights left on tonight marred the event for me. Either we’re all in this and I get my non-light show, or we do what we’re doing now and half of Florence thinks there’s some lighting malfunction for an hour and just goes along with their evening afterward. So next year, at thirty-one, I intend to blow up Earth Hour with interest and excitement and see how far I get to making a starry sky happen over Florence – if only for one hour. Maybe I’ll promote EarthHour 2020 as practice for using wind-powered electricity. Gotta get used to those power outages when the wind doesn’t blow.