Tuesday, September 19, 2000.
I saw the Northern Lights!
I have to addendum this “last” entry. I hadn’t written much about it in my paper journal because it was late, I had to be up early the next morning for work, and I ended up gushing over email to my family and friends [which was lost]. To this day I still starkly remember how I ran out of my apartment to a rocky rise behind the building so I could get as close to the sky as possible. I was in my pajamas, boots, and a parka, but didn’t feel the chill at all. In some way that single new discovery encapsulates so much of what I feel when I think of my experience there—maybe because the Lights are such an indelible image of the North as well.
They stretched over the length of the town, dropped from the stars in wide sheets, and shone a beautiful blue-green-milky-white color. They moved like a banner in the wind, in fact seemed to breathe and respond to me just by the fact I was looking up at them. I had never seen anything so great in nature in my life up to that point (this was before experiencing an Arctic blizzard, which is a whole other level of Nature, going out on the tundra in the winter, or traveling in the Rockies). I’ve had many spiritual experiences in my life and seeing the Northern Lights for the first time is one of the greatest and most memorable. I know there are scientific ways to explain them but that doesn’t diminish the awe I felt; if anything, knowing that something like the Northern Lights exist beyond man-made intervention or thought makes it that much greater.
I don’t think I will ever lose my sense of wonder.