Earlier this month I saw the northern lights for the first time.
If you were born and raised in northern B.C., this might not sound like a big deal, but for someone from Brazil, this was definitely a dream come true.
When I think that some people spend thousands of dollars flying to places such as Yellowknife or Iceland just to get a glimpse of the aurora borealis, it made me feel lucky and proud that I was able to see them from my own balcony.
It was Monday, April 3, and I was just about to go to bed. Strangely, I felt an urge to go to my balcony to get some fresh air. As soon as I opened the door, I saw some lines of green right across the sky. I was immediately thrilled and so I ran back inside to grab my glasses and my phone (this is probably why people hate millennials).
At first I was trying to capture the lights with my iPhone, taking photos and making videos, but I was surprised and frustrated at how little was being captured.
I easily forgot about my phone when the green lights exploded into a hundred different lights, creating countless shapes and forms. Although the colours would appear and dissipate within a matter of seconds, I suspected that I had never seen some of those colours before, and didn’t even know their names.
It felt as if nature was expressing itself, revealing its highest beauty to me, and it was truly magical.
It also felt as if it was a private show, specially because there were people arguing in the parking lot nearby, completely oblivious to the spectacle above their heads (I thought about telling them to look up, but I was almost paralyzed by that unexpected gift).
The colourful spectacle dissipated as quickly as it appeared, going back to lines of green and then completely fading away. I still stood there, for another 15 minutes, hoping I would get to see some more. My smile was probably as wide as the sky itself.
Even though my attempted photos were so poor, and they barely showed a few spots of faded green, I still posted them on Facebook because the moment was worth it (and if it’s not on Facebook, did it really happen?).
I went back to bed and I was still in awe at what I had just witnessed. To me, seeing the northern lights felt completely different from seeing other spectacles of nature. When you see magnificent sights such as Niagara Falls, it’s common to feel small, or humbled by the sheer power of nature.
With the northern lights, however, I didn’t feel small. I felt as if its perfection was meant to inspire people, calling upon the greatness in all of us.