Green shimmering endings

On the Road, Uncategorized, Writing August 19, 2016

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It was our last night, we had just devoured a delicious dinner of seafood accompanied by a nice glass of wine and were hanging back in our chairs to give our bellies some space when I looked outside and noticed the stars. What if?

For a moment I hesitated but then decided to look it up regardless, we only had a few hours before our flight would leave but hell, it wasn’t as if we’d be back soon. I grabbed my phone from deep down in my bag and connected to the restaurant’s wifi. It was a clear night, I didn’t need a website to tell me that, but what I didn’t know was if there was any chance of seeing the northern lights tonight. So I opened the tab which I had kept ready for weeks and there it was. 90 percent chance.

We dashed out of the restaurant right away, our arms halfway in our coats we slid left and right over the frozen streets all the way to our car. The hairs on my arms stood up from the cold but I didn’t really feel it. The combination of excitement and wine made me feel warm on the inside and I barely noticed any of that anyway. All the way to the car I swapped my gaze between the slippery street and the sky above. Even here, in the city, we could see a faint line of green splitting the vast blackness above in two. The moon was small and faint and some stars glittered next to the peculiar green hue we’d never thought we’d see in our lives.

It was the night where even in the northern part of the Netherlands the northern lights had been spotted. It hadn’t been this strong for centuries, but here we were. Our last night on this magical island and we finally got the chance to see it in all its glory. We drove away from the city as far as we could to a hill we’d driven over twice before. It was well away from the city lights and the view was vast and far. A few people joined us where never before we had seen a soul, but it didn’t matter. In fact, it even added to the excitement. All of us fed each other’s spirits and mostly in silence, the few hushed whispers didn’t bother anyone.

We stayed and watched for hours, jumping up and down and rubbing whatever we could rub against each other to keep from freezing. A bright sky did not only mean northern lights and stars, it also meant relentless cold. But we jumped like that until the early hours, when there was no going around it anymore, it was time to go home. And we left Iceland feeling like two little kids the day after Christmas.

Words by Isabella Prins
Cover image by Emmanuel Rosario

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