Northern Lights Haībun


Northern lights result from solar emissions traveling across space and colliding with earth, sparking incredible light displays. They can happen any time or any place on earth, but the lights, uncoiling like chinese dragons, are only visible in the darkest night sky. Perhaps we are always surrounded by these subtle displays of arching color, but our eyes cannot see them in the greater brightness of the sun and moon.

We believe we are isolated here on earth, surrounded by vast empty reaches of space from the sun and the other planets. But the earth is not isolated. Rather, we are constantly receiving energy from the sun; this energy causes our temperatures to rise or fall, which creates the wind, and the wind then transfers energy to the ocean making visible waves. The moon causes tides in our oceans daily as it circles the earth, creating tremendous surges. In our turn, we on earth release our own lights and sound into space as well.

Earth may be an island in the vast outer space, but we connected on a molecular level, through the interchange of unseeable waves of energy, atoms and matter flowing freely. The northern lights are a reminder on a vast, magical scale of that interconnectedness.

So too are we connected to other people, even people we don’t know standing nearby in a coffee shop. We exchange breath, electric charges leave us and pass to others, making waves of reaction, perhaps causing lights to pulse that we cannot see just as the sun causes these northern lights on a planetary scale.

If all matter flows in waves, we too are waves. We are light, and perhaps we too cause beautiful waves of color surrounding each other as our heat collides with the heat of another.

I wish I could see the northern lights, but I live in too bright a place. I imagine them on a level of planetary immensity, unfolding like the visible thoughts of the universe.

I also imagine them on a personal level. A child runs to his mother, his energy embraces hers. A flood of color unfurls, invisible to the naked eye, but able to move mountains in its power. We call it love. Perhaps love is another form of light, an unstoppable wave of matter, invisible but felt the world around.

Perhaps one day, I will see these northern lights, more beautiful than I could ever draw them.

stardust embraced
energy strikes in color
glimpses of connection


Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham

Inspired by the Northern lights/Aurora borealis Haībun Prompt by Ese and Ye Pirate.


41 thoughts on “Northern Lights Haībun

  1. Stunning, just stunning. Full of fascinating facts, and genuinely interesting information. I really enjoyed that. And really enjoy the idea that everyone is connected. The northern lights are mysterious. Now is a good time too.


    • I feel sad I have never seen them, and I obscurely feel reassured that they are around me, and the sunshine drowns out their presence. They become part of the mystery of life that one learns to accept and live with from childhood. If I had a bucket list (and I don’t), I would want to live in the far North for a full year round and see the Northern Lights, maybe more than once. To examine my soul in the darkness and stillness of the longest nights on earth. It’s a dangerous thing to have a romantic nature. 🙂 Peace and Joy, Brenda


  2. I love where you went with this…’visible thoughts of the universe’ is a wondrous phrase and conjures up an amazing image in my minds eye. Connection at a cellular energetic level. We are all particles of light, waves of everything passing in and around each other. The Tao of Physics 😉


    • It appealed to the science-loving part of me, daughter of an engineer that I am. Married to an engineer. Surrounded by little math-loving kids. 🙂 But I put my own spin on it, finding connection everywhere. Thanks for commenting. I hope all your interactions are positive, highly charged and colorful!! 😉 Warmly, Brenda


  3. I haven’t seen the northern lights in years. I remember watching them with my Mom in our backyard when I was little. She took me outside to see them. They kind-of scared me at the time because I didn’t know what they were.


  4. beautiful words brenda and your drawings are equally beautiful. you are such a multi-faceted artist, i never fail to be amazed anew by you. happiest of new years to you and yours, and i feel lucky to have crossed paths with you as you’ve made my world so much more colorful ) beth


    • I am greatly enriched by WordPress, and deeply cherish the friends I have met here, and you are tops, my friend! I hope your new year is joyous, delightful and full of warm surprises. Keep those glasses off! Warmly, Brenda


  5. I like how you connect all of us. I think to with just the reading of each others words we touch each other. Offer support and gain so much more than we can express. Your art is wonderful.

    Thank you for your visits, your art, your words… May you and your family, friends and everyone you touch be blessed with magic in the New Year. Hugs, Jules


    • I do think we are all connected. We are all part of a community that matters, that is helping reshape how people write, full of who support each other in their values, who create rather than destroy, who support rather than deride. I feel blessed to be sharing my bit of magic, and receiving back tenfold of people’s time, care and affection. I hope your New Year is a time of magic, renewal, reward and joy! Blessings, Brenda


    • Maureen, Ah, thanks! I often feel like my drawings are rather primitive, but I do enjoy them. Pastels are so deliciously dirty and messy. They access my inner child. 🙂 Will you be posting a haibun this time? I was surprised to see only two links given how long it took me to do some northern lights art. Happy, Joyous New Year to you and yours! Brenda


  6. Brenda, You continue to amaze me, when I first looked at them it was a glacing view, and I thought for a moment they were photo’s, Truly amazing work. Thank you for sharing the drawing, and your thoughts. Please take care, Bill


    • They were photos of drawings. I’m glad you continue to return, my friend. I appreciate your comments. Hope you look forward to 2014 with wonder and excitement like we do. 🙂 Cheers, Brenda


  7. I am so excited to see your pastels art/paintings! You are an awesome artist! I love the way you put beauty into all you write, too! I hope that you will publish a pairings of your art with haikus and prose. I prefer this over photographs, although you are very artistic in that area, too! Happy New Year, Brenda! Enjoy and spread your loving arms around those sweeties and your sweetheart, too!


    • I’m glad you like them. They lose a lot of sharpness and color getting photographed and uploaded, but that is the way of things, I guess. I was thinking of scanning, but I was afraid putting them upside down would destroy them. I had fun creating them. I brought home a bag of New Year cheer from the supermarket and hid it immediately. Mum’s the word!. Cheers, Brenda


  8. Or maybe this is all an illusion. I think the song Nights In White Satin says it best,” Red is yellow black but only we know what is real and what is an illusion!”


    • My back hurts too much for this to be an illusion. If I were going to make an illusion, if I were imagining this, I would be hale and healthy at least. 🙂 I will hope your days to be full of joyful color, my friend, real or illusory. Joyous New Year! Warmly, Brenda


  9. Speechless. What an utterly beautiful post, Brenda, and the drawings carry your thoughts perfectly. Happy New Year and thank you for all the connections you make possible!


    • Oh, you are lovely to leave such wonderful words. I just got back from picking bathroom floor tile and my back is killing me, and you’ve cheered me up. Thanks and a Joyous New Year to you!! Brenda


Comments welcome!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.