I have been a sceptic about the actual brilliance of the Auroras but Ram, knowing how photo crazy I am 😃 insisted on the tour in Akureyri, Iceland… so as usual, i read, researched, chewed up everything online about it and soon realised that it all came down to fate, lady luck, kismat! If it was destined, then we would spot the stunning dancing waves of light that had mesmerised for millennia.
So, one cloudless evening, we joined a bus tour with a bunch of excited American tourists (average age group 80 years and above) that promised to take us far into the darkness to watch the Aurora. The guide, Sigurður was rather excited and bundled us up hurriedly into the van but soon stopped in a field 5 minutes away!
I was sceptical and looked up at the sky, nothing. Sigurður kept staring, nothing. People started fidgeting, nothing. Only Ram seemed excited, clumsily setting up the tripod, asking Sigurður hundreds of questions while other minions like me kept squinting half heartedly into the inky darkness.
Suddenly Sigurður whispered, guys, look to your right…. she is coming. All heads turned like meerkats, cameras pointed, ready to shoot, Ram , the first bencher that he was, was already clicking away in sheer child like enthusiasm.
There was a faint grey flicker and suddenly without warning, the Aurora exploded, as if someone had splashed green paint across the skies. We gasped in unison, shutters clicked, Ram shuffled into the dark, in search of a ‘better spot’, his heavy tripod in tow!
Sigurður announced triumphantly, ‘she’ is about to dance, this is rare, I have not seen it in 30 years! And right in front of us, ‘she’ started moving, gliding towards us and lo behold, the Aurora formed a perfect circle over our heads and stated spinning, furiously! It was like the cartwheel fireworks , chakri .
She went on and on for around 40 minutes, Sigurður pointing in all directions till we had a crick in our necks! Except for Ram, of course ! The cameras kept shooting away, Ram’s oohs and aahs, interspersed with Smita, look there, come here, reverberated loud and clear in the crisp night.
As for me, I just put my phone down (yes, I can do that too ) and watched from a quiet spot. The Aurora came close, enveloped me in her warmth, took me with her when she receded and slowly floated me back again to earth after a while. She was truly alive. I was no longer cold, I was oblivious to those around me, there was only ‘she’ and me.
My next sentence may sound cliché and am sure, will elicit some cynicism, but I actually felt close to some divine power, something that was way bigger and magnificent than anything I had ever witnessed.
Don’t think any more words are needed 😍💕
Fun fact- named by Galileo in 1619 after Aurora (goddess of dawn) and Borea (god of the North wind). Inuits believe that they are the spirits playing ball with walrus heads while the Vikings thought the phenomenon was light reflecting off the armor of the Valkyrie, the supernatural maidens who brought warriors into the afterlife.