The latest story once again reaffirms what those in Indian Country have known for centuries—mother earth is a magical, mind-blowing place if viewed with the right pair of eyes, or, in this case, with the right lens from the International Space Station. This video is a time-lapse sequence of photographs taken by Ron Garan and the crew aboard the International Space Station from August to October of this year. No amount of computer generated effects could possibly match the wonder and thrill of these entirely real images.
In this incredible video, some of what you will witness includes the Aurora Borealis passing over Turtle Island at night, Aurora Australis passing from Madagascar to Southwest Australia, and lightning pulsing across the globe.
Aurora Borealis has long been described by indigenous communities. The Eskimos of the lower Yukon River in Alaska believed the auroras were the "dancing souls of their favorite animals: dear, seal, salmon, and beluga whales," the Canadian Association of Aboriginal Entrepreneurship says on its website.
And lightning has long been a part of American Indian mythology. The legendary Thunderbird, whose presence can be found in oral histories of many Pacific Northwest Indian communities, as well as showing up in traditions and stories from the southwest to the Great Plains to the southeastern tribes, is a maker of storms, thunder, and lightning.
In many of these stories, the Thunderbird's enormous wings cause thunder when it beats them, with sheet lightning flashing from its eyes when it blinks, and individual bolts created by the glowing snakes the Thunderbird carries around with it.
These incredible stories beautifully capture the glorious natural beauty, and wonder, of our planet.