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Looking Up

I woke Jacob up in the middle of the night. Even groggy he knew enough to accept an invitation to go and do. I wrapped him in his down blanket and carried him out on the back deck and up the ladder to the roof. I carried him to the peak of the roof where we sat together. He shivered, but he watched. We both watched.

Jacob and I have been talking about the northern lights lately. It occurred to me recently that though we live here, he’s never seen them. Of course he’s always in bed asleep when they’re out. I’ve tried to describe them and to explain what they are. He’s been a little interested, but it’s an abstract concept.

One day last week we were driving when he asked me if, when he grew up, he’d have to move away somewhere so that he could see them. No, I said. They’re right here. They’re always here, but you can only see them at night. And only on some nights. Someday when you’re older, you can stay up late and we’ll see them together.

Last night the aurora was blazing across the night sky, right overhead and from one horizon to the next. It bent in great bands, arcs, and swirls; curtains of green fringed with red. I thought about driving out of town to get a better view, but not even the city lights were enough to drown them out. I used a ladder on the back deck to climb up onto the roof where I sat looking out over the neighborhood. I took a few pictures, wishing I had something wider than the 50mm I was using.  But what kind of lens can capture the whole sky? The magic of the aurora. The silence. The movement. The dark. The wonder.

Sitting on the roof of the house, I remembered Jacob and wished he could see this display. I didn’t have to think long before deciding to go get  him. And so we sat on the roof of our house, watching the aurora unfurl continuously above us. I watched him as he watched the sky, and tiny bands of green reflected in his eyes. This is something I want him to remember. It’s a story I hope he tells his children.

Posted on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 12:23AM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell in , | Comments8 Comments

Reader Comments (8)

Beautiful pics and I'm sure Jacob will remember this moment forever What a nice thing to share father & son.
April 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMary Lou
I love that you did that with him! Makes my heart melt. Beautiful pictures too, wish we could have see that when we visited, maybe next time.
April 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMel
Where was that a month ago??
April 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterUncle Brian
as always, thanks.
April 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSteven Dinero
amazing blog! you're such a great dad :) the pics are amazing!
April 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMindy Wheeler
Real cool deal.
April 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBud
Thanks for sharing the view and story Brian. Breat pictures too.
April 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDad
Thank you Brian. I promise this is a joy-filled, wonderful memory for Jacob that will stay with him into his 'old age'. Thank you for sharing with us.

Much love, Mom
April 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMom (Lizabeth)

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