Aurora Borealis

I haven’t been sleeping well. My head full of stuff that needs doing as I prepare for Calgary, and too many true-crime mini-documentaries watched on Netflix. Torturing myself with stories of random violence, not without reason, for this is a theme I’m exploring in my new book.

Said book, however, is stalled, needing, I think, to be printed out and spread over an auditorium floor (preferably cat-less) so I can see the thing in its entirety. I’m looking forward to digging into it out west.

On Tuesday, needing new triggers, to write to prompts, to write with others, I went to the writers’ circle here in The Pas (ongoing since my residency ended) and when we left the library, the northern lights had started streaking across the sky.

By the time I got home, the bands were broadening, stretching all the way over our house. I shouted for J. and he came out and we watched for awhile, walking the dog around the yard.

Twenty minutes later, changed into my bathrobe and slippers, getting ready for bed, I cupped my hands to the window glass to look outside and saw that the sky had transformed.

Back on the deck, a barred owl hooting in our neighbour’s yard, I looked up at a sight that defies description.

The bands of light had turned wide and angular, like the construction of a crystal. The night sky had become a roof built of quartz, bordered by stars. It was unreal, amazing, awe-inspiring.

I tried to take pictures, but wasn’t very successful, and the aurora changed quickly to the dancing striations, the flowing glow. Kari Lacey, a talented photographer here in The Pas, caught several images and has kindly allowed me to share them.

That night, I actually did sleep fairly well, and had strange and vivid dreams. In one, I was walking on a cliff-side, through a landscape full of sand that actually wasn’t sand at all but fine ash from a volcano that went unmentioned.

Northern Lights, March 2015. Photo by Kari Lacey

Northern Lights, March 2015. Photo by Kari Lacey

Northern Lights, March 2015. Photo by Kari Lacey

Northern Lights, March 2015. Photo by Kari Lacey

Northern Lights, March 2015. Photo by Kari Lacey

Northern Lights, March 2015. Photo by Kari Lacey

Northern Lights, March 2015. Photo by Kari Lacey

Northern Lights, March 2015. Photo by Kari Lacey

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5 Responses to Aurora Borealis

  1. Avatar
    Fine Art Aurora Borealis Photographer March 31, 2015 at 4:33 am #

    Awesome shots! A lot of people from various parts of the globe are truly enthralled by the phenomenon of the Northern Lights. Some people are fortunate enough to observe them can definitely attest to its beauty and mystery – these natural spectacles are absolutely mesmerizing. I have seen the auroras during my trip to Iceland in Feb 2014. It was really breathtaking. I hope you guys won’t mind if I share my pictures to you: http://www.darkeclipse.com/nightscape/northern-lights/the-shield-and-the-sword/

    Thanks again !

  2. Avatar
    Myrna Guymer March 21, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    So encouraging to hear one of my favourite authors, Laurel, admit to distractions, writing slump, and sleepless nights. Oh my, how they drain. However, look what you gained – one of those unbelievable magic nights of Northern Lights. Your description, and the photographs are breath-taking. I lived in The Pas for 43 years, saw that display many times and each was a marvel. Thanks for sharing that. Fond regards, Myrna

    • Lauren
      Lauren March 21, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

      Thanks, Myrna! That was the best display I’ve seen since living here. Felt truly blessed!

  3. Avatar
    Ruth Asher March 20, 2015 at 9:38 am #

    Thank you, Lauren, for the description and the photos. Wish I were home, in Matlock, to see them. Always evocative.

    • Lauren
      Lauren March 21, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

      Absolutely they are… Just, as I said, seemingly unreal.

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