Gazing upon the luminescent night sky where the stars take center stage, standing out in perfect contrast against that seamless black curtain, I became transfixed by the absolute brilliance before me. A hue of violet trailing off the end of a more prominent neon red. I watched it spill toward the earth, like wet paint down a blank canvas. Before me in the dead of winter… The majestic Northern Lights.
It wasn’t my first time, nor would it be my last. Being almost a decade since my previous visit, it seemed more magical than I recall. Regardless, it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. My world had violently turned upside down by the sudden loss of a close friend. He was like a brother to me, always encouraging me to chase after my dreams. He used to say, “Always shoot for the stars, because even if you land in the clouds it’s still a pretty good view.”
I was at a loss. I had so many questions and yet, not a single answer. Struggling to cope with his absence, I was teetering on the edge of giving up. Nothing seemed to make sense anymore. I knew if I were to continue forth, I’d have to go it alone, constantly stricken by the reminder of my new tainted reality.
As time passed the colors that once decorated that endless sky simply vanished, as if nothing extraordinary had ever taken place. I stood there in silence, hoping for some sort of resolve. As if my friend was once again at my side, I quietly asked…
What should I do?
I didn’t expect an actual response but somewhere deep within the words, “never give up” arose within my heart. My eyes widened as a frigid gust of wind came out of nowhere, snapping me out of my trance-like state.
Taken aback, I wasn’t quite sure if what had just happened was a freak coincidence or perhaps my friend speaking to me from beyond the grave, but I was freezing and admittedly spooked by the occurrence and retreated back inside. As I sat in silence, trying to put the pieces together, a sense of peace fell on me. I had this renewed hope, that he was still very much a part of this journey. I began to reflect back on all the amazing experiences we had shared along the way. The dream within my heart seemed to reveal a much deeper purpose now. Regardless if it ever actualized, I knew it wasn’t about that anymore. It was about never giving up, about pressing on, and continuing to venture down the road less travelled. That’s what he would have wanted me to do. In that moment, I made a promise to finish what we had started together.
I decided to fight for what I believe in until I cross that finish line, perhaps one day reuniting with my friend. And somewhere along the way, hopefully I’ll be able to once again surrender myself to the grandeur of one of earth’s finest displays, those resplendent Northern Lights…