Dancing Lights in Kenora
On my last night in Kenora, my cousin and I are watching the aurora borealis.
Starting about midnight a luminescent wind blew down from the north, sending cloud-like
billows of itself through the sky. in these billows, I could see lines without number
extending from the north. I could see currents ebb and flow in the stuff.
I think about the particles of plasma flowing from the sun towards us, all those
many, many millions of miles, just to give us this show: that started really dancing about 3
am. We went out in my cousin’s boat and watched from the middle of the bay outside his
camp. It was quiet. It was dark.
The next day, while driving to the airport to come home, we listened to people talk
about it on the radio. We are at the peak of the 11 year solar, and aurora cycle. Two
cycles ago I saw, and heard the aurora. (I wrote about it here.)
There is much objective evidence to prove the aurora is silent: it’s too high;
it’s not an audio phenomena. But there is much anecdotal evidence to support
my contention. It seems people who hear the aurora, as I did, are standing near
carboniferous trees, as I was before.
So, the thinking is that somehow, trees mediate in some way, and it is the trees I
heard. Or, somehow, there is a direct, presumably electromagnetic, effect on my brain.
And it is a rare effect; only 1 in 10 hear the aurora.
Although we were near trees, at least for part of this experience, I heard nothing this
time. It was a much weaker event: the sky was not full of light, there was room for it to
dance--the “dancing lights” as my cousin called them.
On the water, in the dark, under the flashing lights, we exchanged awed comments. He
talked about magic. I talked about what I’d been thinking--currents in the sky. Then it
occurred to me, What’s the difference? My cousin liked that.