Archive for the ‘aurora’ Tag

Isn’t It Lovely?   9 comments

October 15, 2016

What do you think are the 5 most beautiful things in the world?

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I think the world is an amazing place filled with so many gorgeous things that it will be hard to whittle it down to just five.

But here goes … the top five more beautiful things in the world in Lela Markham’s view.

#5   There is something premordial about a fire burning in a contained fashion. We have a woodstove. There is the warm spicy scent of dried birch mixed with the evergreen scent of the spruce that forms the starter bed. There are deep dark caves in the coal bed and licking flames in the new wood which is slowing withering to black. Heat spills off the sides of the stove, wrapping its loving touch around your legs and lulling you into a state of relaxation.

#4 A baby’s eyes haven’t been used yet They’re wide and innocent and they expect everything to be good. That wears off over time as they interact with the reality of the world we live in, but don’t you just wish you could bottle that essence?

Image result for aurora#3 There’s a creek at the bottom of our cabin land, but you can find this anywhere there are creeks that run over rocks. Our rocks are mica-inflected and so as the sun shines through the water and touches the rocks, sparkles dance all around and make me smile.

#2 Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, specifically the movement called “Ode to Joy”. It makes me think of sunlight through birch trees. Birch trees are amazing — they have different characteristics winter to summer, but sunlight treats them well in all seasons. The images that flicker through my mind as I listen to Beethoven include sparkling trees and sunlight through bird trees and ….

#1 Aurora. You might have expected that since it’s my screen name “Aurora Watcher”. Sweeps of colors dancing across a velvet black sky, racing from horizon to horizon in sweeps of celestial grandeur.


Posted October 15, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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Aurora Watcher   7 comments

My screen name, Aurora Watcher, was given to me by Syun Akasofu, former head of the International Arctic Research Center, a foremost expert on the aurora. More than 30 years ago, I interviewed him when he was a professor at the Alaska Geophysical Institute and as we were winding up the interview, I mentioned having heard the aurora. He dismissed my claim, saying that there was no way to hear sounds from the ionosphere because it was so far from the biosphere. I was a journalism major and not qualified to argue with this great scientist, but I did point out to him that I had heard something on multiple occasions, sometimes with other people, and once my dog had heard it too. He kindly held fast to his science. We agreed to disagree.

Years after I graduated, I met Dr. Akasofu again. He immediately recognized me as “the aurora watcher”. Apparently, he’d had an experience when he had heard the aurora himself and he now believed that it could be heard, but he had not yet proven it scientifically. As far as I know, he hasn’t yet proven it, but the Geophysicaly Institute’s webpage no longer categorically denies that the aurora is audible.

I have a faith point here. There’s a lot in this world we do not understand and there are times when we want to dismiss what we don’t understand as not actually valid. I had heard the aurora, Dr. Akasofu had not. He said it wasn’t possible scientifically … until he experienced it for himself and then it didn’t matter that science still says it’s not audible.

In a similar fashion, God doesn’t make sense to us until we’ve experienced Him for ourselves. He doesn’t fit in our test tube. He won’t lay down on the examining table and let us dissect him. He doesn’t exist scientifically … or, more probably, our science is inadequate to explain Him.

I use the screen name to remind myself that not everything in this universe is immediately explanatory based on hard evidence. Sometimes, you just have to go with your experience and trust it will be explained later. Maybe. In God’s good time.

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