Saturday, January 24, 2009
The extra-cold weather we've been having this winter got me thinking about those far northern places where it's almost always cold. In some of those places, people endure not only the mind-numbing cold, but somehow withstand extended periods of darkness as well. I cannot imagine how they survive such conditions; I whine and complain if the mercury dips below the freezing mark, and hate it when it's already dark at 6:00 p.m. I tried to picture what it would be like, to live in a place so dark and colorless. And I thought about the aurora borealis, which plays an important part in the "His Dark Materials" trilogy by Philip Pullman. Most of the story takes place in the far north; just reading it made me feel cold. I've always wondered what the aurora really looks like, and if seeing it could in some way compensate for the cold there. So here is my imaginary aurora borealis, to distract me from the cold. You may notice, however, that I couldn't stop myself from including some "ice flowers" in the foreground.