Green, pink, mauve, yellow, white, graceful waves, dancing and swaying across the sky. No photos or TV documentaries can ever prepare you for the real thing. Truly awesome. But after an hour or so it does begin to make your neck ache a bit.
I’d trudged over to a mound of snow, thinking I’d lie back against it to watch the Aurora Borealis in relative comfort. There was a bright red thing sticking out of the snow, which I thought was a lost glove at first, but when I tried to pull it out, I discovered it was the type that’s attached to the sleeve of a coat. I tugged at it until the snow fell away to expose a stiff body, a frosted face, unseeing eyes.
Statements made and signed, we were free to fly home the next day as scheduled; it was obvious we had nothing to do with that poor young woman in the snow.
Friends ask if I’m OK: finding a body, foul play suspected, am I OK? They’re not interested in my photos, aren’t listening when I tell them that no pictures or TV documentaries could have prepared me for the mind-blowing beauty of the Northern Lights.
I tell them I’m fine but, really, I’m more than fine, I’m untouched, unmoved. Seems all those True Crime documentaries and Norwegian detective dramas I watched must have prepared me for the real thing.
I expected it to be bitterly cold that night above the Arctic Circle but I wasn’t to know that I would be cold on the inside as well. Unnaturally cold.