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  • Writer's pictureR.D. Kardon

The Sound of Spirit




make a rapid succession of slight cracking noises

“I could hear the aurora crackle, even when I couldn’t see it.”

I’m all about fulfilling my dreams. And one of them was to witness the Aurora Borealis, the famous Northern Lights, in person.

In January 2016, I flew up to Fairbanks, Alaska. Statistics told me that in January, to have an 80% chance of seeing the Aurora, I had to stay in town for four days. Planning to stay for eight, I was leaving nothing to chance.

On my second night in Fairbanks, I saw them for the first time. They danced in the sky, tickling the tops of trees and shimmying across the horizon. More than enchanting, it was intoxicating.

I needed more. Up near Cleary Summit, atop the fog layer that sometimes hung over the City of Fairbanks, was the Aurora Borealis Lodge. Complete with huge picture windows and an unobstructed view of the sky, I spent four nights and five mornings mesmerized by those lights.

More than see, I heard them. The sky was alive, protons and electrons disturbed by solar wind complaining in the form of undulating bright colors. The faster the wind, the more “excited” the particles, the more complex their shifting shapes.

I am not religious. I believe in something more than what we can see here on earth, but before I went to Fairbanks, that belief was based solely on an intellectual form of faith.

Now I know for sure there is something more, something moving all the time, something that is there whether I can see it or not.

I live in Southern California where there is no chance I’ll ever look up and see those Northern Lights. Still, I sit outside in the middle of the night…and listen.

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