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From my home in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia I look up at Mount Seymour in the North Shore Mountains. While it rarely snows in the city, the mountain peaks are snow-capped throughout the winter.
Monitoring the weather, I noted that the next morning was forecast to start bright and clear after an overnight snowfall. Getting up early, I headed up the mountain road well before dawn and arrived at the trail head 90 minutes before sunrise. Equipped with snowshoes, I began to make fresh tracks in fresh, deep snow. After climbing 45 minutes, in the blue hour before sunrise, I no longer needed the headlamp as the eastern sky began to brighten. I decided to stop on the ridge below the summit to take in the view.
To the west, the full moon was setting in the pink, pre-dawn sky, above the curve of earth’s blue shadow, projected against the sky by the rising sun, still below the eastern horizon. Looking down to the left I saw the lights of the city at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. I then perceived a bright star rising in the west. It continued to brighten as its motion accelerated in a graceful arc overhead.
Alone, I felt connected with others looking down from the International Space Station, swi¬¬ftly orbiting in sunlight high above. In complete silence, I felt privileged to have been rewarded by an unforgettable experience of sublime light, solitude and human connection in this winter mountain landscape in my backyard.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor