Mourning someone you love is the hardest thing you will ever have to endure. Its been almost a year since my I lost my mom and not a day goes by that I don't think about her
When she first died I was reminded how fleeting and unpredictable life can be and that I needed to start "doing" instead of "saying" As a photographer I have always dreamed of shooting the Northern Lights. They have always held a bit of magic for me. I had never seen them and had spent many hours researching the best place to view and capture them. After reading a story that the Cree Indian tribe believed that the Aurora was part of the Life Circle and where the spirits of the newly departeds friends and family would hold torches lighting the way to welcome the recently deceased. They also believed that this was a way of communicating with those they have left behind on Earth.
After deciding right then and there to plan a trip to the aurora Oval in Alaska where my destination and Journey would be one in the same.....adventure.
A few weeks later I flew to Anchorage Alaska where I boarded the Winter Aurora Train, a 12 hour railway adventure through some of the most pristine scenery in the world. Once I arrived in Fairbanks I boarded a bus and traveled for another 12 hour to Cold Foot Camp . We traveled along the Dalton Hwy which is know to be one the most dangerous roads in the world sometimes in Blizzard conditions Passing through three mountain ranges in sometimes white out conditions
With lots of time to think my mom was never far from my mind. I reflected on so many memories As I let my thoughts wander with each mile I felt the release of the sadness that I had carried for the last three months. I was imagining my new existence without my mom, how would I manage? These thoughts had entered my mind so many times since she left me but somehow now, with so much peace and openness around me I could see it. I could see that it was achievable , not easy but I could do this.
We arrived in Cold Foot Camp late that afternoon. We spent the rest of the day planning our evening in Wiseman which was 63 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
As we waited for the Auroras to appear I held on tight to a small vessel which held my moms ashes. In the minus 12 degree below zero weather at 2 o'clock in the morning the snow clouds parted and an earie green glow appeared. The lights began to dance and change before our eyes. It was truly magical, like nothing I had ever seen.
I walked away from our group with tears in my eyes. I scattered my moms ashes under that glowing sky. As the green lights changed from purple and pink I imagined the spirits holding torches, burning brightly, as though they were welcoming my mom in high fashion, like a celebration of sorts.
As I walked back to the group with frozen tears in my eyes (did I mention it was minus 12 degrees below zero) I felt as though I had found some sense of Peace
What I discovered was that It wasn't the miles that I traveled or the frozen snow covered mountain peaks I crossed. I believe it was the stillness that I finally allowed myself in that moment, to grieve and to find MY Peace