Some times, sometimes you have to just stop, you know? Just. Stop.
Yes, it's Nunavut. Yes there's a limited degree of "hustle and bustle" here to begin with. But it's amazing how hard it is to forget everything else and just stop for a bit. Just for a little while. Just stop.
I left work this evening just before 11PM. I was tired. I was droopy-eyed, I was ready for bed. I went outside to start the work truck, visions of sugarplums just moments from dancing above my head ... only to discover the truck wouldn't start. Battery's dead.
I considered my options. 1.) Go to the Red Top, buy some spark plugs, install them in my skidoo and drive home. 2.) Go to the Red Top, get cash back and call a cab (hoping they'd still be running). 3.) Walk the 20 minutes home.
For some reason, maybe just wanting to be done with the day, I decided to take the shortest (though by no means quickest) route. And I walked.
It was a coldish night. Sitting still at -30. And I hit the trail at a good pace, my warm breath making icicles out of my eyelashes and fur-trimmed hood. Without my iPod to distract me I was left with only my own thoughts for company. And before I knew it, I was just steps away from home. As I made the final approach, I unzipped my jacket just past my chin and flipped my hood back, shaking my hair loose.
I made a little turn before I climbed the stairs, and a wisp of smoke caught my eye. I followed it with my eyes, and then my whole head, cranked up towards the night sky. That wisp of smoke joined its friends in the most spectacular show of Northern Lights I've ever seen in Rankin.
It was like the northern lights were their own dynamic constellation. Or maybe a galaxy of sorts. As I watched, the little beams swirled around themselves; some times forming little milky ways, and other, delicate strands of green light. Before my eyes, one of the little green hurricanes of light wound itself so tight, pale shades of pink began to shine through. The pink began to escape from the eye of the storm, marching down, fading out into green, and finally dissapating to dark night sky.
I ran into the house to grab my camera my tripod, my puppy and out we went. I got my first photos of the Aurora, thanks to Mini Spy Cam. We spent the next half hour freezing and photographing. Though puppy doesn't have opposable thumbs, so he mostly did the freezing part.
Admittedly, pictures and words do the Aurora no justice. Only when you see them can you really appreciate their beauty. But so often we don't see them, because we're too busy zooming home, the last thought in our minds being the night sky, and the treasures it holds.
Sometimes you have to just remind yourself to stop. Stop and... well if not smell the roses, then stop and appreciate the world for its beauty. Just stop.
Happy 500th blog post "The North is My Snowcone." It's been a slice.