At Sky Is Our Reflection

Sky-gazing has always been a favorite thing for me. It has always been my childhood hobby to gaze up-high to the widespread of the blue substances or the black-starry carpet above my head. Sky-gazing had always made me imagine, "what lies beyond this seemingly unlimited sky?" It always gave me a sense of an endless adventure, adventure to discover my ability beyond the unlimited sky, that even sky is not a limit for me.

However, the sky that I really love cannot be seen anymore in my hometown, Jakarta. What lies above my head is not the favorite sapphire-blueish sky at noon, but a soiled sky which has turned to grayish, dirty blue. It has gone. The blue sky has gone.

It was a story when I was accompanying my student, Sabariah, to the final of Kuark Science Olympiad in Jakarta. In our journey, we met a certain child that my friend brought from Majene to participate on the same competition. His name is Angga. At one time, he asked me why can't he see the stars here in Jakarta, and moreover why does the sky looks like burning, as it has a color of dark red at that time, probably everyd eay in Jakarta.

Well, there's an explanation to this phenomena. Jakarta, having a tons of fossil-fueled vehicles running through its vein, has showered itself with an immense amount of pollution exhausted by the vehicles. Apparently, the polluting particle is slightly lighter that the air above the ground that it hollows the upper layer of air, trapped below the ozon layer. This polluted air create a substances which people usually called "Smog" (seems like a combination of Smoke and Fog), therefore covered the Jakarta's air with a fog-like substance from the accumulation of smoke. This is also the reason why the blue sky looks as if grayish.

As for the answer for that kid, at night, the smog block the light emitted by the star, making it invisible from the ground. Even a full moon would look blurry behind the smog wall. It is a little like the Rayleigh Scattering which explains why does the sky looks blue, apparently the light emitted by the stars and moon are scattered, making them looks unclear or in extreme way, unseen. This is also quite similar to how we cannot see them under cloudy weather.

The burning color comes from the city-light emitted by the sky-scrappers in the city. The lights, having yellow color in nature, showered the smog layer in the sky, painting it with orange color which makes it like burning. This phenomenon is similar to shooting light to a smoke or fog which gives us a view of yellow smoke or fog with addition that the smoke or fog is now can be seen much more clearly than before. These two reasons are behind the unseen stars and burning sky at night.

Well, now, right after I think of it, something crossed my mind. How this phenomena reflect ourselves in our lives. The pollution is an analogy of the bad things we had done in our lives. This bad things may be forgiven, but it may never be forgotten. In the end, the bad things, no matter how small it is, will cloud our good personality and blurred people's opinion on us. People will find it hard to see the stars inside us since the objectivity is clouded by the smog of our sin in the past.

Moreover, in that condition, people might talk bad on your good actions or your wealthiness. Nobody in this earth love the burning sky in Jakarta. People miss the starry pitch-black sky that accompany us in the night. You may have a wonderful city-lights inside you that you actually want people to feel enlightened even in the darkest night. You may have the most sincere motivation in doing so, probably to redeem yourself for the sin that you have done in the past. However, the smog is still there. What's left for your good doings is that burning sky that everybody hates, like a sinner wearing angel mask, and your cause is just not that sincere, as if you're a hypocrite.

I guess this is the point of no returning. You cannot turn-back time and undo your sin. But, really, I believe there is a reset button in this life like the one that we have in video games, a button called starting all over again. Once you stop polluting yourself, even though your crusade are being rejected like the burning sky, just believe that even the earth could regulate itself and little by little, it banishing the smoke out of the sky so that people could the starry sky they always missed. The same goes for us, one day the smog might disappear even though it leaves some traces, but people will start accepting you again, that you have redeemed yourself for all of your faulty life in the past.

Looking at the burning sky of Jakarta everyday, reminds me of my faults in the past and how I may have hurt people with that. But, I always know that every human has a place to be forgiven as long as they live their live for the good and leave the faulty behind. I must press this reset button and start things all over again, never repeating the same mistakes again, and returning the blue and starry skies that I always love. This is what life is meant to be, to learn from our every mistake to create a better tomorrow.

At sky is our reflection,