Saturday, December 16, 2006


Occasionally, I get tired of my own thoughts. I'm sick of cycling the same questions and doubts in my dense little head. I'm taking a break from thinking about the same things over and over.

The light from the sun takes eight minutes to get to Earth. That means that when we watch a beautiful sunset, we're really watching the sunset from eight minutes ago. We haven't had a sunrise or sunset in Inuvik since December 5th. It has been barely noticeable this year, yet my general winter “blah-ness” has been raging strong. The sun will be back shortly after the new year, and the light will come back fiercely and quickly.

So, for now, I'll concentrate on the northern lights and the stars. The closest star to the Sun, Proxima Centauri, is 4.3 light-years away from our solar system. If I could see it right now, I would be seeing the rays from four years and four months ago. That would be light from August, 2002. I was having the end of my last care-free summer then. I would soon be thrown into seriously thinking about my career, soon to start my Education program. It would be a time of unparalleled self-questioning. Soon, I would be weighing my teaching program against a secure job in Ottawa. And I would waffle for a couple of months, finally choosing to stay in Vancouver and finish my teaching degree. Little did I know that in less than a year, I would be abandoning the security of home, in search of something else, something that I might not have found yet, 4.3 years down the road. Little did I know then that I would be searching for a star in the darkening sky today, reminiscing about what my world was like when that star first sent those rays – light that simply exists, for no one, yet perhaps has played a part in my being here right now, in this time and space. One day soon, I'll find a four-year-old and point out that star to him or her. “This is what the universe was doing a few months before your birth,” I would say. And he or she would not understand, but would simply gaze at the faint glow. And that's exactly as it should be.

Other stars that I see are thousands of light-years away. They link me to a world that I cannot fathom, to civilizations long gone. Perhaps some of the stars that I see are now extinct, and at the end of the ribbon of light that stretches thousands of light-years lies merely darkness and emptiness, gases that have consumed themselves. But, I still have faith that most of those dots in the sky live on still. And the light that Proxima Centauri is giving now is waiting, 4.3 years away for me to enjoy and reflect upon. 

1 comment:

  1. I really love your blog. Your way of looking at the world is truly unique. Happy holidays, and happy star-gazing to you!