Our Aurora

Yesterday Beau and I got into a fight. I was upset about something, he told me not to be, I told him he was being mean, he told me I shouldn’t tell him how to be, then I told him he started it…we were like a dog chasing its own tail. Miscommunication, lost in translation.

Usually silence precedes reconciliation, and we were on a two hour car drive, so I tucked under my coat and fell asleep fuming.

I woke up in snowy mountains. We stopped at a rest station and I grabbed snacks and coffee for us. Never fight when you’re hungry, tired, or without a coffee in hand.

“Tell me the aurora forecast.”

Of course he’d looked it up. I have driven my family all over the dark areas of Washington trying to find it. I used to keep the forecast on my blog. And Beau, grudgingly has stayed up until 2 in the morning, the kids asleep in the back, to the islands on the Salish sea just to appease me. To no avail.

A solar flare was coming. There was a chance we’d see it.

We were going to night ski, just the two of us. Beau had learned to ski a couple years ago and we were finally able to go up just the two of us. It was also much needed time alone together and the first thing we did was have a fight. But there’s a comfort in 12 years of marriage. The promise of “this too shall pass.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Me too.”

Then Beau told me all about the cherry blossom festival in Japan. “They hang lanterns in the cherry trees.” They have parties into the night. We are going to Japan in the spring, and hopefully will hit the two week cherry blossom season at the right time. He said I should have someone dress me as a geisha in Kyoto.

Beau’s been learning Japanese. That’s how he found out about the cherry blossom party. The word was Hanami. He came across it in his studies. It’s funny. I had been slightly irritated all break over his incessant need to study Japanese. He’s been completely immersed. I’ll try to spend time with him but all he can do is sit next to me, absorbed.

But here we were, flying down the dark mountain together, sparkling snow covered trees lit in the lampposts, a Narnia to ourselves. There were no northern lights, but the hope of them thrilling, and I shouted, “I love that you like to learn new things! Japanese and skiing…” And I whizzed away from him.

We’ve both learned so much, and are ever growing. It hurts, and takes patience, and sometimes you don’t get to see the reward, but we are a solar flare about to happen, lanterns hung waiting for blossoms. We are the beauty in simply looking at an aurora forecast.

Hope is our northern light.

[This piece was written in January, but I think it fits well with this month’s word for Kindred, SPEAK. Beau and I are leaving for Japan this week!]

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