Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Aurora Borealis

I've travelled a lot in my nineteen years, but I haven't seen one thing I'd really really like to see.
I want to see the Northern Lights.
I've wanted to see them since I read Philip Pullman's incredible novel "The Golden Compass" as a child (and its subsequent sequels, "The Subtle Knife" and "The Amber Spyglass") - I've wanted to ever since I read out loud to my little sister from Jan Brett's picture book "Who's that Knocking on Christmas Eve?"
"High above the arctic circle in the land of ice and snow, the northern lights shimmer in the night like a curtain of color hanging from the sky," it reads.  
I have not been to Norway, or to Iceland, or to Sweden.  I have been to Denmark, but only in high summer when the bright Northern sky was bluer than anything I've ever seen; I have been to Montréal in the winter but the aurora never appeared.  
In the newest issue of the National Geographic, there is an article about solar storms - and one of the side effects of these huge solar storms is the aurora borealis coming as far south as Hawaii and Panama (well, once).  And it is the most selfish, but I would so love to see the northern lights - perhaps not enough to wish the kind of mass electrical outages on the world that come with such storms, but enough to at least think about it.
Have you ever seen the aurora?  Do you want to?

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