Using solar energy makes me feel good. It's more than feeling good because I'm not causing coal to be stripmined and burnt, gas and oil to be fracked and transported, and dams and nuclear reactors to be built. It's a good feeling rooted in a certain visualization kept in my head all the time.
The visualization is of the entire Universe exploding into existence, then with unimaginably rambunctious evolution spewing out untold numbers of galaxies with stars and planets, all in a roiling matrix of matter, anti-matter and a lot more. The visualization continues with life arising here on Earth, at first just non-thinking microbes but eventually species such as birds who instinctually build nests appropriate for their kind even if they've never met another bird of their own species. Then brains capable of instincts evolved to human minds capable of conjuring forth art, empathy, science, and spirituality. This directional evolution of the universe is outlined in more detail on our Six Miracles of Nature page at http://www.backyardnature.net/j/6/.
The process I visualize is like an arrow shot into emptiness at the moment of the Big Bang, the arrow being the Universe evolving toward art, empathy, science, and spirituality. To me, the direction the arrow takes teaches that the Creator "wants" living things to feel, to understand, to live with a certain flair, to reflect upon what it all means, and to feel awe and reverence for what IS. To me, then, the day-to-day challenge is to live in harmony with the flow of the Creator's evolutionary process toward ever higher levels of sophistication, feeling and spirituality.
Using solar energy is harmonious with the Creator's evolutionary urge because it does not destroy the Creation the way using grid electricity does -- with the coal mining, the oil fracking, the global warming gases, and the nuclear power plants with their radioactive wastes. Solar power is also harmonious because using it requires more effort than simply flipping a switch for grid electricity, and our extra effort constitutes a kind of prayer of thanks. For, with grid electricity so cheap and easily accessible, using solar energy makes little sense unless one has his or her private ethical framework based on some kind of relatively enlightened spirituality.
If the evolving Universe is a song, the Creator is the singer, and I myself am part of the music. Moreover, my behavior has an effect on whether in my corner of the Universe the singing is harmonious or discordant.
Each time I rise from my chair, plod through the house and cross the backyard to realign the solar cooker dish with the ever-shifting Sun, the effort made to nudge along my sluggish body, to do something that's not exciting or sexy... is my consciously stepping forward to sing in harmony with the Creator in the Song of the Evolving Universe.
And this harmony feels good.