Third Time’s A (Glowing) Charm…
True story. I sit here on the eve of departure, listening to the Tesla blare on Pandora, thinking about my 30th High School reunion going on right now that I’m regrettably missing, and feeling optimistic. Tomorrow morning I depart for Fairbanks, Alaska, to chase down this bitch of a dream, gazing at the Northern Lights. I’ve attempted two times, unsuccessfully. Once, in Fairbanks, 4 years ago, and March of 2014, I went all the way to Iceland only to be completely shut out by a snowy depression that came and never left while Mark and I were there.
I showed my friend Becki Ginsberg Saltzman the pictures of my crushed dreams from last try, two faces red-worn from the blizzard-burned cheeks and wind-strewn hair, and she laughed. I don’t blame her. The ridiculousness of going all the way to Iceland, the irony of the storm-driven circumstances…
People who have known me ask me all the time, “Are you crazy?” “Why the Northern Lights?” “Why do this to yourself?” Many are not even aware of how many miraculous feats of nature take place at once to set the heavens aglow. Solar flares of unimaginable lengths, winds moving thousands of miles per second, electromagnetic particles racing towards our earth, only to be sucked in by our magnetic poles, then dazzling the halo of our atmosphere with florescent colors. And oh, all these these amazing feats need to occur without clouds, and preferably during an early cycle moon….
To me, as I’ve previously written about, this Aurora phenomena is my definition of spirit or god. To be a witness to the dance of ribbon, light, time, miracle and mystery, in person, is something I’ve always known I must do. Sometimes we need to be humbled before something so amazing, and so unexplainable, that the compass of being alive gets redirected.
At the moment, Fairbanks conditions for the next 3-5 days appear favorable. A moderate solar storm is in effect, party cloudy skies with reasonably minimal chances of precipitation and even a projected few clearer nights.
I will not be checking the weather all the time, because conditions in Alaska change quickly and I don’t want to obsess over what can and will change and I have ZERO control over.
I think this could happen. Perhaps this time I will come home victorious, and not like the disappointed Peter Brady showing up in his best plaid suit expecting his “surprise party” that was never to be.
Tomorrow night, maybe, could be the night, I get one of these wonderful wins.