Norway’s Northern Lights
A first. The Aurora, what an elusive thing. I still struggle to wrap my head around the science of it. But the moment when it finally appeared, the science no longer boggled me, no longer mattered. Wasn’t it just light pollution from far away? The Milky Way stripe? My breath, frosty on the bus window? It couldn’t be. But there they were. The Northern Lights, when I saw them for the first time this week, weren’t how I imagined they’d be. But the best things in life often have a curve ball for you at the moment of truth. They weren’t as bright at first as I’d pictured them, they didn’t swirl around mystically like some witch’s brew in a cauldron. They seemed to just allude to themselves at first, little ghostly hints written low in the sky. And when the Aurora came again, just before the midnight hour when it often stops for the night in these far northern stretches of Arctic Norway, it arched in a great bow across all of the sky. Rainbow-like, from behind a snowy mountain. Then, like low tide sucking at a beach, the color leeched from the sky. You can will it back all you want. And I’ll do that for the rest of the time I’m here. But the elusiveness of the Northern Lights must certainly have something to do with their allure.