Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Aurora Borealis in Revelstoke

I'm a huge believer in celebrating the moments which prove that life is happening just as it should...

It was a night without any expectation or agenda - Rumblesteeze and I met up with some friends having a late-night party on the river flats right outside the Revelstoke city limits.

We drove our newly-named van, Doug, down Airport Way - not passing any body except for two small deer crossing the road. The sky was clear, but outside the van windows it was pitch black - there was no moon glow to help outline the landscape.

We slowed down about 10 miles outside of town, searching for two yellow balloons that were supposed to mark the path. Luckily, a single car with it's lights on was parked, what seemed, in the middle of nowhere. Squinting a bit more, I could see a faint glow of smoke rise further out into the distance, signaling we had found the party.

We followed the single lane path and parked Doug on a hill. I took a moment to stare up and admire all of the sparkling stars. There were no clouds or moon which made the stars brighter than usual in this remote town.

We descended down into the plains alongside the Columbia River where there were two dozen people gathered around a raging bonfire, fueled by firewood gifted from a local up the road, a parked opened U-haul complete with a full DJ setup, strobe lights and dancers bouncing inside to club music, and fireworks being setup for a final hooray.

I took a seat on a broken down wooden pallet and watched my friends drink, smoke, and be merry while I roasted a marshmallow.

We didn't bring any beer because we were driving back home, but I soon realized that was a mistake. I wandered out into the darkness, looking for my friend's beer stash. With the fire at my back and nothing but the dark shadows of mountains, my eyes quickly adjusted from staring at the fire, and I soon realized the stars had disappeared... from the northern horizon and up, a green watercolor wash covered the night sky.

One by one, every one soon realized what was happening. Aurora Borealis was making a rare, surprise appearance for our little town in British Columbia. Hours passed as we watched the green Northern Lights fade in and out and slowly sweep across the sky. The wispy light formed bands from the horizon and up above our heads... I couldn't help but imagine outlines of eagles, wolves, and waves of energy streaming our way.

Sitting by the fire, and still without a beer, I took a moment to remind myself how fortunate I am to experience nature, good people, and warmth. Doesn't matter that I don't have the next few months planned out... these are the real moments that matter.

World, you amaze me.

Photo credit: Sandy Powell, Revelstoke

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