“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Last night offered a small chance to see the northern lights as the skies cleared just enough to open up the universe. What are you to do with an opportunity like that but chase after it? With son and daughter as my two co-conspirators we jumped in the truck and drove northward over twisting country roads. Higher elevations, darker skies, reason for hope to witness that elusive sky dance.
We never did find the northern lights. Instead we found the starry dome, the wind whispering a chilly welcome, and time to catch up with each other in a random field far from home. The sky above didn’t disappoint, even as we recognized that it wasn’t going to show all its cards to our power trio. As the clouds rolled back in, we jumped back in the truck for the drive home. We agreed the chase was worthwhile, if only for the billion stars dancing infinitely above and for locking us in the amber of the moment in revelatory quiet below.
We don’t just stumble upon revelation, we must seek it out. Having a spirit of adventure mixed with a sense of place may seem contradictory, as if chasing dreams means leaving home. But the spirit that calls is the universe, and it in turn is our place. You see it more clearly when you get away from the ambient light.