Monday, February 2, 2009
A Country Road
November, I think it was. He was probably on his way to or from hunting with his brothers in North Dakota. He called from somewhere in Minnesota. "The Northern Lights are just amazing. I've been watching them for miles and I've never seen them like this. You should take the boys out to see them." So we drove the Jeep west. That's where you have to go here to escape the light pollution. We stopped now and then to get out and see, and still, we were not that much impressed. A little wavering glow over there and maybe a bit over there. Finally, we got to a point where trees blocked the lights of towns and we watched for a bit, thinking they were lovely, but hardly worth the big deal. Then they flared and shifted and rolled and wavered and flickered. They were green and over here. Then orange and over there. Then they hung low like cliffs of blue ice for way many miles along the horizon of our view. They appeared to fade away and we contemplated heading for home, but when we glanced back, they had flared red high above in great rays and arches. I don't know how long we lingered there, watching them come and go, watching them change and shift, talking to each other, pondering the nature of things and sharing our awe. It was a magical and precious time with my boys that are so grown up and independent now. Any time I hear reference to northern lights, I am taken back to that night of the magnificent show in the sky and the wonder of my sons.