The sun is exploding. But it does that every once in a while. Actually, the whole sun is not exploding. What we are observing is solar flares. A solar flare is an intense burst of radiation coming from the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots. This is the result of a solar 'storm'. And the largest storm in five years is due to arrive today. This usually happens every eleven years. And when it occurs, those of us here in the northern states are treated to some fantastic northern light shows for a couple of nights. Which brought up an interesting conversation between my husband and me this morning over breakfast. When I heard on the Today Show that this event happens every eleven years, I did the math, and gasped, "D. is going to be 22 years old this summer. That means that 22 years ago it happened when I was pregnant with D.!"
He looked at me in surprise and said "You're right!"
Why is this a big deal?
22 years ago I had 3 other children. Not so bad; J. was 8, M. was 6, and T. was 18 months. The problem was T. He was SO active! We didn't know it at the time, but he had ADHD ( he wasn't diagnosed until years later). I just didn't know how I was going to manage with another baby coming so soon.
One night my husband went outside to take the dog out and he came back inside and told me I needed to come out with him to see something. I could hear the excitement in his voice, so I quickly put my jacket on and went without hesitation. I followed him out into the backyard and he pointed up at the sky. It was a clear night and the heavens were filled with liquid green lights, constantly moving, changing and racing back and forth across the sky. It was the most eerie, yet beautiful thing I had ever seen. I've lived in Minnesota all of my life, and have seen the northern lights many times, but nothing like this. They seemed to be circling right around us, just over our house. We stayed out as long as we could stand the cold, with our arms around each other. When we went back inside, we wondered how and why it was so different and seemed to be just above our house? We decided it was a sign. (Hey, we were young and romantic!) I decided to take it as a sign that everything was going to be ok, and I was going to be able to manage whatever came my way with this baby. And I did, of course. Silly, I know, but I guess I just needed something to grasp onto to get me through a difficult time.
E. asked me once why people hang onto a rabbit's foot, and I told her that just believing that it will bring you luck tends to make people see opportunities and and go for them. So this must have been my 'rabbit's foot'.
So now I know it was nothing more than a natural phenomenon. I feel a little sad for that young woman so long ago - she was so scared and oh, so tired! And yet, she had her whole life ahead of her with the promise of young life. I wish she could have known how wonderful it was all going to turn out so she didn't have to worry so much!
By the way, I did survive my birthday party! Just thought I would share one photo...
I can only show two of the grands with me because the whole photo would include some adults and I don't have permission to post photos of them ;) It was a fun party, and so lovely to have my whole family and several friends here to spend the whole day with me!