When Mitch first saw the aurora, he said it was eerie. He was driving alone at night when the lights emerged over the tundra, and he later told us it was a little scary to see the streaks of color twist silently in the sky.
I believed him, but it wasn’t until the aurora materialized over the volunteer house that I understood how mesmerizing — and how startling — it would be to watch ribbons of green and purple bloom above me.
Standing outside, the lights overhead looked like such a force of nature. They were wide swathes of glowing green with touches of faint purple fringing the edges. They were shifting across the sky rapidly, curving and coiling and never staying still. But they were completely quiet.
It seemed like something so vibrant should make a sound. A lot of sound, even. But I think the silence is what made the aurora that much more remarkable. The sight was gorgeous — and a little unnerving, just like Mitch said. But it wasn’t flashy.
Instead, the aurora was a subtle reminder of just how powerful and beautiful the surroundings are here in Nome — and just how much influence the sky and land and water have over my imagination now that I’m here.