Out in space
Beyond the reaches
of our co-mingled breath
Burst after burst of solar wind
Is released into the heavens
Setting off a whispering
In the cold north air,
Then a glimmer,
Foretelling the dancing colours
That will spread for hours across the night sky,
High above the snow.
The auroras shimmer and dance
Between the stars
In the great dome above;
The wonder of nature.
The ancients looked on in awe
Imagining great battles between the gods,
Skyward reflections of campfires and torches,
The spirits of animals and ancestors,
And luck for the coming year.
Greens, blues, reds and violets
Stream and ripple
Through this long forever-night,
The dance of the Shining Ones,
Spreads loveliness and desire;
The dawning of all our dreams.
This poem was inspired by this morning’s Space Weather story about auroras for Valentine’s Day. Three CME’s (coronal mass ejections) will strike Earth’s magnetic shield in quick succession between today and tomorrow. As a result, there is a 60% chance of geomagnetic activity (read: northern and southern lights) around the poles for Valentine’s Day.
This site offers a clear explanation of the cause of these phenomena and their various colours, as well as the mythology surrounding them.
Although some think it is only an urban legend (or a tourism ploy) there is some evidence that in Japanese and Chinese cultures, it is believed that a child conceived during a display of the Northern or Southern Lights, or Aurora Borealis/Australis, will be endowed with good fortune and happiness.
Aurora Borealis means “dawn of the north”; Aurora Australis means “dawn of the south.” Aurora was the Roman goddess of the dawn but, interestingly, continues the name of an earlier Indo-European dawn goddess, Hausos, whose name was derived from a word which meant “to shine.” Hausos, and Aurora by extension, therefore meant “the shining one,” a perfect description of the namesake of these fascinating lights.