Saturday, May 11, 2024



painted warp scarf

With the news of a huge amount of solar activity this weekend, we decided to head out of town late last night and the light pollution of the city to see what we could see.  We had been seeing photos from Europe where the lights were magenta, which is unusual.

Alas, we spent over an hour at the top of the hill to the west of town waiting, waiting, waiting, as the clouds slowly moved in and nothing much happening.

Finally we gave up and drove back home.

Now I see lots of locals did manage to see the lights, so I'm a bit disappointed we didn't.

OTOH, we *have* seen the northern lights before, so the disappointment this time isn't all that acute.

So much of life is fleeting.  So much of life relies on being in the right place, at the right time.  So much of life is happenstance, serendipity.

But the northern lights truly are something quite spectacular.  If you have a chance, at least look up after dark.  If you live in a highly polluted light environment, a wee drive might be enough to get you a glimpse.

I use nature as a design inspiration frequently.  That whole series of painted scarf warps I did a few years ago was done as a response to some of the colours I see in nature.  Humans get so wrapped up in the latest crisis, the latest chaos (and lordy, I understand, I do!) that sometimes we need to stop for a few minutes and just look.

The fact that we sat on a hill for over an hour, in the dark, and saw not much of anything, was a bit of a disappointment.  But we also understand that the lights are ephemeral, and sometimes they show, and sometimes they don't.  I'm a bit jealous that other locals did get to see them, but I'm happy for them that they did.  Because for some of them, it was their first time.  And for us it would have just been the cherry on top because the lights were exhibiting a deep magenta, which is fairly rare.  

Mostly I've seen the green lights, one time I saw red (also fairly rare).  I've never seen magenta or white, and those are truly a wonder to behold.

Someone posted a quote on FB the other day (I paraphrase) - we enter this life with an intake of breath, we exit it with an exhalation, and we live for the moments that take our breath away.

I was hoping for a moment of breathlessness last night.  But maybe we'll try again tonight.

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