Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Night Lights

Sunday night the huge vault of sky, over our open field, was on fire with the Aurora Borealis. I had noticed while walking one of my dogs mid-evening or so, that the sky to the North was very bright. The evening wore on and having climbed up a mountain road (and I use the term, “road", loosely) to visit with an old friend of ours, I was SO ready to go to sleep that night. So I hit the pillow, read for a bit till my eyes just wanted to close. All that fresh air made falling asleep pretty immedia-…zzzzzzzzzzz! (You get the picture).

Felt so good to sleep…till the phone rang. I HATE when that happens. My first thought: Who died?! Can’t help it, I have older relatives, and it’s a real possibility. My heart pounds when that happens and the adrenaline rush makes it tough to get back to a relaxed state.

We have an understanding with our local family that if anyone sees northern lights; they MUST call, since otherwise we all might miss out. So per that agreement, my sister-in-law called saying that there was something to see in the sky.

My husband and youngest son and I went out on our land, where there’s a HUGE vault of sky. The Milky Way was pouring across the sky as the clouds were blowing. It was windy, and there were even some shooting stars- I counted four of them, in a short time.

The Aurora Borealis itself was spectacular! As clouds began to blow away, the energized light flashed and washed across more and more of the sky, little by little, like shimmering draperies billowing and active. The clouds were spectacular also as they moved off toward the South, lit up and changing shape, opening “windows” through which to see the lightshow directly, with stars inserted for extra effect.

At one point when the clouds were revealing about half the vault of sky we could see, they formed the shape of a HUGE bird with shimmering wings fully opened and extended, reminding us of the Thunderbird; and then changing again to appear as a giant, fierce and protective angel (we sure could use one). I thought, well you don’t see things like this everyday.

And at the center of our sky, was that tiny cluster, known as the Seven Sisters, AKA: the Pleiades. The Aurora was shooting strands of light toward the Pleiades, and while watching it intently, I felt as if it touched a deep place within me and drew me up along with the light toward the stars. I have counted many more than seven sisters in that constellation and I love to test myself to see how many I can honestly count. Clear winter nights when the stars twinkle are ideal for my counting game.

My husband pointed out that the great hunter, Orion, had not yet made it over the shoulder of the horizon to walk on his path across the sky. We stood a long time, eyes to the sky, and jaw to the ground in amazement. I had to lean on my garden fencepost in order to keep my balance because I had been looking up so long. My neck was ready for rest when we finally and reluctantly headed back inside. Even on the way back to the house, we stopped and watched as the bright flashes and shimmers took over the sky, intensifying.

It is nice to know that while humans enjoy their feeling of power and control in many everyday matters large and national and global, or small and mundane, that Nature keeps showing us the beauty of her mystery; that mystery truly exists. Even with all the science, and explanation- standing there, staring with awe into the vault of shimmering and fiery sky, I felt suddenly connected to the Ancient Ones and their humility and awe. Living in a way that invited them to harmonize with their world, Nature was their constant context, mystery simply a fact of life. It made them far richer than any corporate shareholder or CEO, or world leader.


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