— Leonardo da Vinci
We knew the aurora was coming. We kept getting pings on our phones, as we had been all those clouded nights before. Finally, a welcome break in Calgary’s unpredictable weather would lend perfectly to an ideal viewing opportunity. I arranged to meet Cam at a spot just outside Calgary that would have minimal light pollution, forgetting that the previous night had been a full moon.
As soon as Cam arrived, the aurora began to manifest itself. At first quietly subdued and restrained, as if allowing us to claim a spot and set up our cameras. Upon taking our positions, it unleashed it’s first act, a skillful and agile display of waving light that had every intent to impress.
After a brief intermission, act two unleashed an even more lustrous and lively performance, with a full ensemble of hues that included pinks and blues filling and igniting the night sky. It radiated with a symphony that even had the local wildlife howling.
In act three, slowly, yet nimbly pillars of light arranged themselves on the stage before us. After a controlled and quiet dance they faded away, leaving us longing for an encore.
We tend to take for granted all the contributions made to a performance, especially those that are backstage. Without the twilight, the updraft of that distant thunderstorm would not have been visible, nor would the highlight of the horizon and its reflection in the water. Without the clouds, this would have just been an image of a colorful radiant glow… and let’s not forget that those clouds would have not appeared masterfully painted onto the background, had they not been illuminated by the moonlight.
Calgary, AB · May 26, 2013
— Henry Ford
— Pablo Picasso