As we were heading north on Circle Drive, I pointed towards the sky to draw the attention of my wife and three boys to the green curtains of light that were playing across the heavens. It’s not often that we can see the Aurora Borealis from within the city. so we knew that tonight’s display was unusually bright. We abandoned our plans to take the Attridge Road exit. The shopping trip to Canadian Tire could wait until tomorrow. My wife and I both concluded, without the need to consult with each other, that we needed to continue driving until we could leave the city’s light pollution behind us. We took the Idylwyld Drive exit, and followed it north until we were on Highway 12, north of both Saskatoon and the community of Martensville. We went a bit west of the highway on a gravel road, then parked, turned off the car, and exited the vehicle. By now, the Northern Lights had faded quite a bit, but we figured that this would still be a treat for the boys.
After a few minutes, we were sufficiently cold enough that we re-entered the car to make the drive back to our home. The gas gauge was nearing empty. My wife worried that we might not make it back to Saskatoon. I was fairly certain that we had enough, but agreed to fuel up in Martensville, just to be on the safe side.
After we were back on the road again, and just about back to the highway, my wife commented, “Oh! That’s beautiful!” Apparently the lights had not finished their show, and had decided to put on an encore. Instead of heading back south to Saskatoon, I continued west out of Martensville on another gravel road until we were again away from the lights. Once again, we turned off the car to embrace the evening’s chill.
(image by my Aunt Kathy – used without permission…but I think she might forgive me)
The lights formed a ribbon from the western to the eastern horizons, and danced directly above us. The typical green of the lights was joined by the rare (but not unheard of) purple at the edges of the ribbon. We endured the cold for significantly longer than on our first foray into the night. I have not seen the Northern Lights this brilliant in at least 30 years. I was glad that I heeded my wife’s request to pull over at the earlier fuel depot, I think that her request was God’s silent way of saying, “Wait! I have some more to show you!”
is shattered by dancing lights-
on a lonely road