On Tuesday, I woke at 1:15 a.m. and looked out the bedroom window of my cabin.

The Big Dipper was framed in the picture window, hovering at a tilt above the silhouetted trees. Below the treeline, I noticed a faint cloud. “Hey, that might be the Northern Lights.”

“No,” I told myself. The small cloud seemed to shift to a faint green color. “Hey, that could be the Northern Lights.” I sat up and gazed out the window, my eyes focused on the shifting cloud. “No, I’m imagining things.”

Almost as if the sky answered me–I’ll see your doubt and raise you–a band of light, a green “cloud,” rises and stretches along the horizon, just at the top of the treeline. It’s faint and thin.

“Maybe. Maybe.”

I still think I might be sleepy or dreaming or imagining what I want to see.

It expands, widens, grows more saturated in color. It puffs and pulses then lifts in wavering ribbons like streams of neon-green smoke climbing.

“The Northern Lights!” There’s no denying it. Enchanted, I lie on my stomach, raise up on my elbows and rest my chin on my hands as I gaze in wonder at the lights dancing in the night sky.

Ever since I was a child, I’ve dreamed of seeing the Aurora Borealis. And when I see it for the first time, I think I’m dreaming.