The Emerald Ribbon

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Yesterday marked two years since I saw the Northern Lights for the first time. I remember it was about 5pm when one of the staff at the guesthouse where I was staying knocked on my door to inform me the lights were putting on a show. I’d been working on my laptop and was somewhat surprised by the early display- not that I was complaining! I quickly got dressed in my layers and rushed outside, camera in hand, ready to capture the magic- only to discover I’d left my memory card in my laptop. Hence, I have no photos of the spectacular sky that night, though the dancing heavens left such an imprint on my mind that the memory of it will never fade regardless.

The next day was very cold but the sky was clear- a promising sign for another light show that night. My wish was granted around 9pm, when a rippled green ribbon broke through the darkness and curled its way through the midnight sky. The display was a lot fainter than the previous night, the final remnants of a dying solar storm. Emerald wisps would glimmer and glow, then disappear to leave only whispered memories of magic and mystery. It was not a long display and though I kept a lookout for the next few hours, there was no encore performance.

Although this display was nowhere near as intense as my first aurora viewing, it was still beautiful in its own way. Indeed, this is part of the magic of the Northern Lights- you never quite know what you’re going to get. Plus this time, I’d been able to capture a few photos which I was very thankful for because, despite going on to continue my chase in Norway and Sweden afterwards, and then Iceland later in the year, the weather gods never granted me another viewing and I haven’t seen another aurora since this day.

The Northern Lights are the most beautiful and mysterious thing I will ever see in my life, and the only thing that could ever make me want to leave my bed and go outside on a -30 degree night. Many people regard them as a bucket list item, and rightly so, but for me, seeing them once, then twice, is not enough. Once you have seen them, a part of their magic stays with you forever and I dearly hope I will yet see them again one day.

Remembering a Dancing Sky

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Can someone please take me out of the 40 degree heat we are experiencing in Perth right now and send me back to Ivalo? It’s surreal to think that exactly two years ago today, I stood underneath a bitter cold Finnish sky and watched the universe dance.

The cosmic marvel that is the Northern Lights is something that I will never stop dreaming about and in my never-ending pursuit of colour and light, they will always be the ultimate chase.