Astronomy | Lifestyle | Nature | Stargazing

The Aurora Dash

The Aurora Borealis visited Southern New Hampshire again last night. I know it because reliable sources told me so, not because I actually saw it myself. But I dashed outside, cursed the bright Waxing Gibbous moon and the neighbors for their inclination to leave outdoor lights on and sought out the darkest parts of the street for… nothing. Well, nothing but the universe, which is admittedly still pretty spectacular.

When you live on the absolute edge of reach of the Northern Lights you suffer through many moments like this. What are we to do but venture northward to Aurora destinations? We choose where we live where we live for the proximity to others, not for the dance in the sky. Maybe we have it all wrong?

The act of dashing outside for the remote possibility of seeing colors in the sky isn’t unusual for me. I do it every morning to see how the universe is waking up. Many nights, wishing to properly tuck the day in for the evening, you’ll find me peeking outside for a splash of orange and pink and purple highlights. And if there’s even a hint of a meteor shower you’ll find me out in the dark like a madman, shuffling foot to foot or lying on the ground staring up at Perseus.

This all might seem crazy, but I’d suggest that watching manufactured drama unfold in 30-60 minute segments is just as crazy. I dash to greet the universe, others may dash back to the couch after a bathroom break during commercials. Both dashes might have their place in our lives. The bigger question, I suppose, is where do you want your dash bring you?

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