Last night I missed my bus, and had the longer-than-usual walk home, though the wildlife refuge. Sometimes the universe turns inside out, when I've been at work too long, or just long enough, perhaps. I work with structural ecologists, people trying to understand the shapes trees make. The walls in the lab are covered with pencil sketches of the spaces between trees, the soaring columns of the cathedral of wind, the fine threads of emptiness around individual leaves where sunlight curls catlike. And some nights, picking my way along the marsh, I can see empty space laid amoung the douglas fir and cedar like stained glass or silk, fractal and frond and fastness.
Very clear night, all the spaces between branches filled with stars thick as fireflies, come home to roost. There was a single wisp of cloud, a long pale bluegreen line, maybe 30 degrees of altitude, visible now and then coiling amoung the branches.
Until I noticed stars visible through it. Not a cloud. Called caladri, asked her to check the magnetic field for me. Before she'd even answered, I'd seen it spike and arch, fan out like unfolding wings. Aurora. It looked like someone had grabbed a handful of sky and braided it- trailing green strands coiled around eachother but fading to starfleck at the edges.
(I am kind of wondering if there were black aurora defining the intricate interior edges of the lacework, given how very sharp they were. I've never seen one! It was like the trick of looking at space between trees, or that optical illusion with two people and a cup - you could flip a switch in your head and see the gaps as a seperate aurora, a clawed shimmerblack thing. Space between flame, breath.)
I love living here sometimes.
PS, if you were one of the people who would like a text message when there's aurora in the sky, I didn't do so because my old cellphone is dead and gone, and with it those names. Sing out if you want re-added and I have your cell #.