my trip to the Antarctica and the South Pole

Thursday, May 12, 2005

the southern lights

the southern lights

yesterday the skies exploded at the south pole. Ken had just stopped by where I work, and we were both stepping outside--me to shovel out my door, and him to finish his maintenance rounds on station. we didn't have to look up to notice. the auroras were everywhere. for about ten minutes, the two of us might have been the only ones watching, in an understood moment that was both solemn and exhilarating. purples and greens skidded and unraveled across the sky, horizon to horizon. it was a showcase of undulating patches of wispy lightness, thin lines of bright ribbons, radiating rolling beams like an aurora sunshine, and unfolding ferns growing and retreating across the sky. completely mesmerized, we stood in the bitter cold, heads facing upwards, spinning around and around to see it all.

it was a while before we heard the announcement over the speakers. then, within minutes, we started seeing the brief white lights spilling from doors opening and then closing all over the station. people emerged with immediate exclamations, looking skyward. soon figures got closer and every one of us stood staring up in utter amazement--some laughing, some silent. work ceased on station.

i did not know there was anything in this world so spectacular and magical, yet so real. it was like a vision not quite realized when you close your eyes, but painted on top of an immense starry backdrop...a dream world exquisitely come to life...the language of a greater power, or of an inner self. i guess things like this are why it's possible to be so happy somewhere so remote and barren--singular showcases of nature's secrets.



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