The headlamp was fading anyway, so I turned it off and let my eyes adjust on the dogs’ dark shadows. The moonlight soaked into my skin and brought something out of me that had been hiding all summer, like the sun coaxes blossoms from tight-lipped buds. I sighed and watched the bright, white mountains roll by beside us. To the north, a shimmer of green began to ooze from dark blue twilight. We had been downtrodden, and hooking up a dogteam for a night run after a full day of work was so unappealing. But we did it anyway. Can you believe we would have missed this?We made the sharp left turn onto our exit trail and the thick forest darkened around the team. I thoughtlessly slid the sled around one tree and then another. Jealous announcements from the rest of the dogs heralded our arrival home, and as we put everyone back on their houses our movements slowed down to halftime. Our eyes were lifted and mesmerized by pulsing, intertwined ropes of green that swirled around each other and spiraled down onto the ridgeline behind the house. The aurora became a fine-toothed comb. The aurora became a cyclone. The fish stew boiled and steam met the night air in a puff of white. The cabin lights burned amber from the windows. We stood on the edge of disbelief, and also on the edge of Panguingue Creek. What kind of a thing is that, where you look upon the very feeling in your heart? A thrumming, living fullness. And there it was, lighting up the sky.
(This entry was cross-posted at www.kristinknightpace.com)