I Looked for Northern Lights, Saw Heaven Instead
One of the leading unchecked items on my travel bucket list is to see the Northern Lights. I recently went on a quest, not specifically with that goal in mind, but I was going to be close to the Arctic Circle, so I figured why not look up every night?
If you're not familiar, as many of us in the Deep South wouldn't be, the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis are a function of nature. The scientific, explain-like-I'm-five, explanation is the lights are generated when gasses in the Earth's atmosphere react with charged particles from the Sun's atmosphere.
The colors of the lights can be anything from brilliant green and yellow to an amazing orange or reddish color. It all depends on the gas the particles interact with. Alas, my best nights to look for the lights in Norway and Sweden were thwarted by clouds. But despite my lack of "lights" I may have actually encountered Heaven.
All of the world's great religions describe a place that is our reward for following the best practices and following the terms and conditions set down by our personal higher power. For many, the concept of "Heaven" is cloud-based, not computer clouds, but actually, it might rain kind of clouds.
To me, I am less about what Heaven might look like and more about how it feels. I believe Heaven is a sense of peace and inclusion. The kind of place where your words aren't necessary because everything is so indescribable. I was in such a place in a town called Giverny France.
One of the more famous residents of that town is a guy you might have heard of, Claude Monet. In the world of artistic painters, he's on a lot of people's Mount Rushmore. But this is less about his art and more about what inspired his art.
That inspiration was his garden, and oh what a garden it is. Even in late September in Northern France, the cool temperatures could only slightly dilute its majesty. Monet obviously loved flowers and if I understood what our guide was telling us, he searched the Earth to bring species to his beloved garden.
Would you like to see it?
Heaven on Earth- A Walk in Claude Monet's Garden