After they faded away I hesitantly packed up my tripod and went inside knowing that they would be out again later that night. I had checked the Aurora Forecast earlier in the day and they told viewers that weather permitting, we should see a moderate display of lights in the Yukon. I was hopeful; the rating was 3 out of 8 on the aurora activity scale for the night. I checked the sky at 11:00pm to see a wide green river flowing across the sky right over our house, from one horizon the other. The Northern Lights were so faint that you could see the milky way stars glimmering through it and it moved slightly, like it had a gentle current pushing it through the night sky.
As I watched, the currents pushed the river right over Tagish Lake where it began to pulse brighter and brighter. The green river started to dance right above the trees, still pulsing brighter. The whole river condensed into one shapeless mass on the horizon, where it seemed that it couldn’t contain itself any longer and blossomed.
All over the Yukon people watched the beautiful displays fly through the sky in all of the colours of the rainbow. Over Carcross, just 30 minutes away from Tagish, green, purple, and yellow Northern Lights swelled in the sky. At Crag Lake, 15 minutes away from Tagish, photographers experienced the unsettling beauty of red Aurora Borealis. In Whitehorse lights of purple, green, yellow, and pink danced daintily with the stars.
In Tagish my brother I watched the fingered curtains dancing joyfully to silent music over our heads. Somewhere along the lake we could hear the deep hooting of a Great Horned Owl along with the sharp popping, scraping, and rumble of the lake ice breaking up. In the sky the dance of the lights became faster, frenzied, the edges of the curtains turning a faint pink and the centers yellow.
While watching this amazing sight right over our heads I felt as though my brother and I were the only people in the world. So small, and yet belonging to everything that we can see around us including the mysterious lights above us. We are all a part of something much bigger and it is easily seen on nights like this.
North of the Rainbow Bridge
Across the Rainbow Bridge is a place for all dogs. A river runs wide and shallow with tennis balls that fly with their own wings; that is the place for a Labrador or Golden to await its masters arrival. A sled dog is not content here. Northward is its trail….
There are soft pastures for Aussies and Border Collies, with sheep and geese to pen. Agility equipment grows like trees amid Frisbees and fly balls. But the North continues its sure wild call, and the sled dogs journey continues….
Now the air is colder. Now the moon is always full. Now the light is silver and it breaks and shimmers on fields of bright snow. Now there are no roads, no walls, no pens, just endless space to run. This is where the sled dogs gather, (Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, Siberian Huskies, Alaskan huskies, and others) North of the Rainbow Bridge.
They wait in this beautiful place, happy, but not complete. Suddenly, a howl begins, as one dog senses someone coming, someone very special. All the sled dogs raise their heads and join in the ancient chorus. They dance like moonbeams and sing like winter winds.
There are red ones like dawn streaks, black ones splattered with many colors and silver ones like the first strange hour before light. They line up as if in harness and run together, in a scintillating, many-colored streak. The leader of the team guides the others past the fields and river, with racing feet and racing heart. They rush to greet the new arrival at the Rainbow Bridge, where the leader is rejoined with its beloved person, never to be parted again.
The glory of the reunion is celebrated by all the sled dogs dwelling beyond the Bridge, a shimmering, multicolored team leaping and whirling with joy. The light from that scene is what we see on magical evenings in the northernmost parts of this Earth: The Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights beyond the Rainbow Bridge.