Recently I replaced an outside light at my house with a motion detection one. When the light stayed on much of the time, when nothing seemed to be moving within its range, at first I concluded that something needed to be adjusted. I changed the range settings and the time settings. Still, the light came on far more often and stayed on far longer than I expected.
I became a stalker at my own house, leaving my blinds open so I could scamper to the window to spy what might be the culprit. Something was moving outside my house. Something was making the light go on. What squirrel or chipmunk or bird was triggering the motion detection light? Sometimes I did find a guilty creature (I even discovered I have a frog living in a marigold pot!) But often, I found nothing visible to my eye as the trigger. Yet, the light—silently, steadfastly, unhurriedly—beamed away.
After a few weeks of this, I decided I am no longer going to concern myself with what the light may be revealing about “motion” near my home. I have long believed in the ability of essences invisible to the eye to inhabit our world. Maybe there are spirits protecting me? Are they good spirits or evil spirits? Who knows? Or, as Chadians I knew during my time in the Peace Corps believed, spirits of ancestors are hovering nearby. Whatever it is, I am confident that the only down side to having the light on more often is a few more dollars to pay for my electric bill. That’s a small price to pay for the constant reminder that we live in a world where often what is unseen is as powerful as what we can see.