Many years ago I had the pleasure of going up to the north of Norway, and seeing an hour long display of the Aurora Borealis, or more commonly known as the Northern lights. The memory of that night and the emotions that were generated within me will never leave me (I hope), as it has left me in awe of nature and with the realisation that there are forces around us that can literally blow the mind.
Since that time numerous friends and acquaintances have asked me to describe how it felt to be there and what the display was like. Initially I have tried to put it into words but all to soon the realisation sets in that no words can describe what unfolds in front, above, and all around you. The best you can say is that the viewer has to “be there to see and sense it”, and that no words can truly describe what is going on.
What is worse though is when someone asks what occurs from the scientific aspect. This happened recently amd technically it is easy to give an answer for they can be swiftly described as
a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere (thermosphere). The charged particles originate in the magnetosphere and solar wind and, on Earth, are directed by the Earth’s magnetic field into the atmosphere.
or for those less scientifically minded
A natural single or multicoloured light display of awesome proportions caused by excited particles crashing into each other.
But the real point I would raise is do such explanations really matter, and when viewing such an event do we need that information. Off course we need to be aware of certain facts and theories, and remarkable technological advances, and our survival, are dependent on such things, but I wonder whether at times we would do better to leave such data alone.
I am not saying that we should revert to the ignorant dark days of superstition, bigotry, and mystical mumbo jumbo; but why can’t we simply leave somethings alone. A child will look at an object or phenomenon with a wonder that leaves us speechless, so why, as adults do we often deny ourselves the same? We have adult responsibilities to contend with, real or self inflicted, but we were all children once. We marveled at the world around us, and with our childish minds and eyes we invented kingdoms and worlds far beyond our wildest adults dreams
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
The Bible, according to Christians, is the word of God, and according to some believers it should be taken literally, but, if that is the case I’m not too sure I want to be a Christian. Sometimes I want to look at the world as if I were a child in a candy store. I don’t want to understand all the ingredients, or how they were put together. I want to simply enjoy what nature puts before me, and be thankful that I have been lucky enough to be there
Not many open questions in this post, but what experiences have you had in life where no explanation is wanted or needed, and, at the time, how would you have felt is some “expert” had ungraciously told you exactly what was going on?
- Mesmerizing Northern Lights From Around The World (all-that-is-interesting.com)
- Aurora, Boréalis (loti38.wordpress.com)
- Aurora (astronomy) (en.memory-alpha.org)
- Watch northern lights dance over Sweden (mnn.com)
Categories: Just a thought