Rule number three: Live as infinitely as you can.
Sometimes I feel sad when I think of all the beautiful things that have been seen and not photographed, lived and not written about. The second night I left both my room and my body behind, I experienced that sadness, stronger than ever. I watched the wonder of the sky as a black canvas and the nightly slats of light like a moving painting, and I wished I had more talent… or any at all.
I had the world at my reach. I had the ability to see the most fantastic, breath-taking things on earth and my mind would still let them go. It was tragic because I had so much to share but I wasn’t gifted, and the beauty of the view I had that night would be forever lost in my memory, slowly drifting away from my mind until the day that I would not be able to remember the tones of the sky or that feeling of immortality.
Lost in the greens and the blues that caressed the stars, I wasn’t so afraid. I was further away from my house than I had ever been, and further away from my body than I ever thought I would be brave enough to go. But it was worth it. I was living my dream, dreaming my life. I had always wanted to see the aurora borealis, the northern lights.
I am still not sure how I got there. It did take me a long time but I knew which way to go. I just went north, as straight and as fast as I could, and then west. I crossed valleys and saw small towns that from afar looked quiet and peaceful as if forgotten in the only silence left in the world, the few lucky ones. I went through fields and woods that covered cold mountains and sharp cliffs until the ground was coated with snow and the trees were scarce. That’s when I saw it. The glow was far and faint when I caught the first glimpse of light, shining in the distance. I followed the strips of bright colours from the peak of one lonely mountain to another. They were getting clearer and brighter as I moved towards them, and then, just as swiftly, the colours multiplied. Soon it was not only green and blue but purple and orange and they danced over the clear sky. The snow below my feet mirrored the show the night was performing, and shone as well, with small diamond-like reflections. I stopped then because I suddenly realized that I was surrounded by light. The sky was endless, no mountain was high enough to cover my view, no town was close enough to outshine the marvel of the firmament and not a single cloud obscured the sight.
It was better than I expected. The northern lights, they changed shape and direction and moved faster for a few seconds and slowed down after a moment. They were nighttime rainbows that without warning turned into purplish fire burning against the infinite, and then horizontal lines like the waves in a sea of stars. I felt so small but I also felt like I was one with them and like I could dance along because we both were light and we both weren’t really there. I was still sad because I knew I could never create anything remotely as beautiful, but at the same time I was happy because such beauty existed, and because I had been part of it. Nothing else mattered. If there were things so great and so magical, any attempt to replicate them would result in an echo of greatness and a shadow of magic, and that was enough. And with that though, suddenly I wasn’t sad anymore.
I left the joy fill me up and the images impregnate my memory until my soul was soaking with the colours of the night and the brightness of the universe. It was mine. Even before I saw it, it had always been mine. I had always been part of the greater picture that not many are able to see. I was feeling it for the first time then. It was all new to me but I was certain that it was true; we were beauty, and we were magic and we were wonder. Every light that danced before me, every inch of snow had once been a single flake, every person, every animal, every flower, every drop of rain and every teardrop. We were all connected and we were all important and we could all make beauty because that’s what we are. We matter and we shine with our own light.
As I came to this realization, the scene mirrored my mind and began to transform before my eyes. It was still dark but the lights were dimmer and the sparkles in the snow were falling asleep, resting for a few minutes before the sun took over the sky, then the sparkles would shine again. I could almost feel the warmth of the day rising from the east, so far away, at the edge of the infinite sky. Soon, my black canvas was not black anymore but rather pink. It went through all imaginable shades of pink before turning into a clear silver blue. It was time to go back. I breathed in and said goodbye and promised I would return. And I did. I surely did.