For as long as I can remember I have been mesmerized by nature. Specifically the mountains, trees, and the sky. When I was a kid I had a dream that the I was able to see the Northern Lights from my house in South Carolina. I remember waking up and wishing it would be able to happen. Ever since then I have looked up different places to go to see the Northern Lights. However, I never pursued going on those trips.
When I planned my trip to Banff, it was to get a Nexus card. I didn’t think about the Northern Lights initially. However, as I started researching things to do and places to see I realized that it would be possible. I started researching the solar weather and keeping track of it on a daily basis, even though I wasn’t there yet. I started researching the best way to capture the lights and the best places in Alberta to see the lights.
As the time came closer for me to head to Canada, the solar weather was not looking promising. The KP level was forecasting to be a 2, which is not a great forecast. I had friends praying with me that the forecast would get better and that I would be able to see the lights. Yes, I know that God cares about me seeing the lights because He is a good Father and what Father wouldn’t want to be able to give His daughter what she wanted?
Okay, so fast forward. I get to Canada and decided my best chance would be find the lights would be Friday night after I left Sulphur Mountain. So I stopped, got some snacks, and headed north. I knew I would have to get north of Edmonton before I would be able to see the lights due to the light pollution from the larger cities. As I was leaving the light pollution of Edmonton I started seeing random things in the sky, initially I thought it was a cloud. However, as time passed, I realized it was Aurora Borealis. I was looking at the Northern Lights.
I was still dumbfounded. It was so faint, but I knew that was what I was seeing. I then looked up and saw the lights begin to dance. They were becoming brighter and it was as if there was a flame dancing across the sky. I instantly started sobbing. My Father has answered my prayers. I was looking at the lights that I had been dreaming about since I was a kid. I kept trying to find a place to stop to take photos, but there was no where to pull off.
I kept driving north, watching the lights, crying, listening to Into the Wild on Audible, and being in awe of my Father. This moment I had with Papa was different than any moment I have ever had, and probably ever will have. It was a moment that was shared between us, and no one else. And even though I was initially annoyed that I wasn’t able to capture the Auroras, I came to realize that it made it that much more special to me.
When I finally stopped later in the night/morning my camera lens wouldn’t focus. It wouldn’t autofocus. It wouldn’t manually focus. I was so annoyed, but then Papa whispered in my ear, but I want to share this moment with you.
You see, too many times we get so caught up trying to capture moments with our cameras, that we forget to experience the moment firsthand. This will be a memory that will stay with me forever. Papa wanted to share this moment with me. (He said I could blog about our adventure).
I don’t want to ever get to a place where I spend all of my time with my face in my phone, or my eye behind a camera. If I’m not living in the moment, then I’m love truly living. The Auroras are an extraordinary part of God’s creation. One day I will see them again and capture them. But this was not the time or trip to capture the Auroras. Instead I captured the beautiful nature of Alberta (and a bit of British Columbia). You can see all of the photos I captured of God’s creation on my Facebook.
If you have seen the Auroras, I’d love to hear about your experience. Comment below. And if you haven’t seen them, I’d love to hear about your favorite part of nature.