On the wall of our garage, 8 to 10 little frogs circle the light, waiting to feast on the bugs the glow attracts. On this hot August night there are plenty of tiny moths and even one huge mantis, bigger than the frogs. At least one frog perches on top of the light fixture, peering out over the edge like a ship’s figurehead. The others cling to the stucco with their splayed fingers, lunging forward now and then to gulp a morsel.
Meanwhile, behind the front door of the house, two humans huddle by the flat-screen TV, watching “Master of None,” on Netflix. They enjoy the ceiling fan circulating the air conditioned air. Now and then they lunge forward to sip their wine from glasses that rest on the coffee table. They are silent, like the frogs, until roused to laughter by the witty writing of the comedy. Then they subside again into comfortable calm until the next joke emerges.
Circling the light feeds the frogs and ensures their survival. Circling the TV is less essential to the humans, and they could survive just fine without it. But all three creatures, humans, frogs and insects, are drawn magnetically to light and the wonders it can work. Witness the crowds that flocked to watch the Great Light, the sun, be obscured by the Lesser Light, the moon, during the recent solar eclipse.