April 15, 1996
This week's story comes to us from British Columbia. Steven Cox is a self-employed businessman who enjoys winter camping, fishing and all family activities. He is married and a father of two. Steve wrote this story while enrolled in the adult education class at CNC in Burns Lake.
It was a clear, crisp night back in the mountains of northern Canada, three mountain ranges from Babine Lake. We were sitting around the campfire flip-flopping our bodies from side to side, trying to prevent the biting cold from freezing our sleeping bags to our bodies. My ears spiked up as the timber wolves cried out their lonely mating calls, sending shivers up and down my spine. They seemed to be telling the other animals about what was going to happen next.
Shooting stars lit up the black sky. We could see the outline of the great mountain tops. Ever so slowly, the sky started to change and the miracle of miracles was upon us. Streams and columns of bright shimmery lights were flittering and dancing across the universe. As we gazed upon this light show, the sky started to brighten, and the bright blue greens flashed before our eyes.
I jumped up and grabbed the shovel to make a lump of snow into a lazy boy recliner. Slipping back into our wet, warm sleeping bags we lay back to enjoy the miracle that had been placed before us. The blue greens started once again. We watched in total amazement as a flash of bright orange filled across, leaving behind trails resembling an old, smouldering campfire. This mammoth light show went on for hours, but my eyes grew heavy, and I fell asleep.
I awoke to the sound of a bald-headed eagle circling and circling our camp. What a way to start a day: the sun-filled air, the coffee aroma teasing my nostrils and the thought of ice fishing on my mind.
[Used with permission, from the collection of personal stories In This Country: Personal Stories About Northern B.C., published by the B.C. Ministry of Skills, Training and Labour and the National Literacy Secretariat, 1994, page 151.]