The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Northern Lights

By Ania Vesenny

My husband comes home at 11PM after his night course and we are all still awake. Don’t ask me why. “Get dressed! Northern lights!” he says. He helps our daughter into her snowsuit and I pull a huge parka over myself and the baby. We step out, but the lights are almost gone. “If we could drive away from the town,” I say. My husband opens the door of his office car, the one which is not for private trips, and winks. We jump in. We drive up The Road to Nowhere. The snow is not cleared. We realize we might not be able to make a turn, but we decide not to worry about it for a couple of minutes.

With the headlights off -- complete darkness. The stars are everywhere. The sky stretches low, I don’t even need to look up. I’ve never seen so many stars. The northern lights are pale, wispy, shimmering green. “They say if you whistle at them they come closer,” I say. We look at each other and whistle. Nope.

I stay out with the baby to direct the three point turn. On one side there is a ditch, on the other there is a ravine. My son gets hysterical--his father and sister are seemingly driving away. He screams out his first complete sentence, which is roughly, “The car, the car, let’s get in the car!” followed by a prolonged wail of despair and something that sounds like a few swear words.

As we drive home I close my eyes and imagine this very same sky and the snow covered tundra, existing hundreds of years ago, millions, maybe. Before Iqaluit, before everything.


Blogger Patricia said...

please get some pictures if you can Ania, thank you for sharing this beauty with us..xo

Sat Nov 18, 01:34:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

I love those quiet moments with nature when our imagination draws back into the history of our land. Your post is a lovely reminder. Someday I hope to see witness this scene.

Sat Nov 18, 01:58:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

How lovely, and what a wonderful entry into your son's baby book. Frightened into his first sentence!

Sat Nov 18, 08:31:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger tamara said...

Yes, pictures! I'd love to see the northern lights. I've only ever seen the very end of them, and it was like a mere morsel. Such a vast silence that must have been...until your son screamed, that is :)

Sun Nov 19, 02:49:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

I love the ending. I miss the lights. It's not something you ever see down here in Hawaii. Theye were occasionaly visible in Saskatchewan, and always when I lived in Prince Albert.

Great post.

Mon Nov 20, 01:39:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

Wow. I wonder if you can capture them with a digital camera? Probably. Don't know. Never seen them. One day. Enjoy, Ania. They're there for you.

Mon Nov 20, 03:41:00 pm GMT-5  

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