The Dawn of the North, A Journey

I have no choice. ChristmasLightsTheSoul lives on in the face of adventure, in the face of enlightenment, and in the face of adversity.

Tonight, I reflect on my life, my actions both good and bad, my friends, my family and my foes, my past and my future, and most importantly of all, my spirit. It’s a lot for one person to bear all at once, and I assure you I’m not doing a great job of managing every aspect of my life in one day. But there is one thing that I can assure you of tonight. My spirits are soaring high.

As you may have noticed, ChristmasLightsTheSoul has undergone some renovation. Nearly all of my articles from my trip to Europe have been eliminated from the web. Nearly all of my photographs, my experiences, and my thoughts from the past year have been removed from my webpage. Yet even in the absence of these things, ChristmasLightsTheSoul has taken on a new look, a new style, and new goals: to share with you favorite images that I have taken, to share with you favorite quotations that have meaning to me, and to share with you stories and experiences from which I have become a better person.

The past ten days have been less than smooth sailing for me. It isn’t my desire to share with you what events have transpired over the course of these ten days, or more significantly, to discuss individuals, individual situations or my reactions to what my life has thrown at me. Everyone has scars, chapters of their lives that have helped them grow into the people they are today and yet need to remain closed. I am no different from anybody else; I am not alone in my struggles.

And so I do not need to use ChristmasLightsTheSoul as a portal for venting or angered speech. Instead, I hope to focus on using my blog to spread the goodness, the positive, the exciting aspects of life that I encounter everyday be it through my pictures, a quote, or an anecdote. Perhaps you’ll discover something you didn’t know before, or perhaps you’ll be able to relate with my sentiments exactly, and reassure yourself of a lesson learned years ago, reigniting the flame that has always been burning inside of you, reminding you of life’s mysteries and extraordinary power to inspire knowledge, adventure and passion.

The aurora borealis, the dawn of the north, more commonly known as the northern lights, are a spectacular phenomenon that occurs in the upper atmospheres of Earth towards the northern pole of our planet. An equally spectacular show occurs at the southern pole of Earth, called the aurora australis or the dawn of the south. I was extremely fortunate enough to see the aurora borealis two different times on my recent ten day trip to the great state of Alaska. Pictures will follow soon, I assure you, but I wanted to focus on the impact of such an extraordinary event.

As I stood on the snow-packed ground in subzero temperatures, bundled up in my long-johns, my ski pants and jacket, mittens and balaclava, skull cap and hoodie, I realized that I had found common ground with electrons. Seriously. Granted, negative energy was definitely in my near future at the time, but that is not the point. I stood beneath these undulating curtains, bands and waves of greens, pinks and whites uttering the only word I could think of to say: unbelievable. I wasn’t only watching one of the most spectacular things I had ever witnessed; I was watching a perfectly timed show of my life, thousands of feet in the air above my head.

The particles creating the colored, dancing spirits above my head had originated on the surface of the sun of our solar system, roughly 93 million miles of empty space away. At their origin, these particles had festered and grown into a storm of electrons potentially capable of interrupting human technology on Earth and sending a species into a frenzy. Enter Zach.

Being 21 years old, I want to believe that I still have many, many years ahead of me in life, each with special adventures and experiences to learn from. Having this mindset, and looking at where I stand in my life currently with respect to personal happiness, relationships with my family and friends, and being at peace, I can only draw the connection between my life and how I have affected people around the world with my words and my actions, and the storm of negatively charged particles hurtling towards Earth and affecting lives 93 million miles away.

But the story doesn’t end here. What happens to most of those particles in our atmosphere? They explode into colors, shapes, sizes, speeds, all of various proportions and magnitudes, dancing in the night sky to the beat of your heart as you reach out to grasp its passionate, sensational and unforgettable display.

I hope that one day I, too, can learn from, grow from, and transform my life experiences, good and bad, into a gift for other people all around me. I hope that one day I can alter, for the better, the lives of the people I love.

A goodnight to you all from Savannah, Georgia.

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