Sunday, October 31, 2010

I've Never Seen the Northern Lights

In which our Lady of the Skies looks upward

                Tonight, I froze my toosh off standing outside my house and looking up at the sky.  The clouds were so beautiful that for the first few seconds I actually thought they might be the northern lights, but there was no color to them other than what they reflected back of the city lights, and after a minute I could see them moving with the wind.  The evenings are finally dark here in Alaska.  Over my head the clouds looked similar to spidery cobwebs—like the fake kind people use to decorate on Halloween.  How fitting for the evening, it being All Hallows Eve and all.  Farther away they began to look like the frothy waves of the ocean, complete with spume and spray, as well as the dark underbelly of a few larger waves.  Mysterious creatures dwell beneath those kind of waves.  Then they drifted and transformed into dry sand dunes during a dust storm (as seen in movies, of course, when the hero must protect a beautiful woman by shielding her body under his cloak as they hug the side of a cuddly camel).  Dust streaked from the tops of the mounds as the wind whistled over the distant landscape of dunes.  I could almost smell the dryness wafting over from the clouds into Anchorage’s brittle, sharp, and cuttingly cold stillness.  I shivered deeper into the cocooning warmth of my coat and boots and knew gratitude for the gift of the perfect view from my house here in this specific time and place.  Someday I will finally see the Northern Lights, but until then, I will be content to contemplate vistas of spider silk, stormy sea and baked sand. 

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