I step outside for a cigarette after dinner, and look up to see what I think is a wisp of a cloud catching the last of the day's light. It has a bluish-green hue and drifts lazily overhead. I go back inside and describe it to Natasha telling her that I'm just going to pretend that I saw the Northern Lights. I've wanted to see them since I was a little kid, but never really thought I'd be lucky enough to be in just the right place at just the right time.
As we are paying for our meal the waiter casually mentions that the Northern Lights are out tonight. WHAT!!!!??? HOLY SHIT!!!! We say, almost in unison. I want to hug this fella, throw our money at him and run outside, but I hold my composure until we step out into the darkness. At first I see nothing, until two Icelandic women point them out to us. They do look like bluish-green clouds that blend in with the falling sun. If no one had told us, we could have overlooked them. The thought horrifies me. I squeeze Pete's arm tightly, holding back tears. I never even considered that we would see them on this trip, thinking it was the wrong time of year. Like so many other moments in this tiny country, I feel completely overwhelmed by the enormity of my surroundings.
We head back to our little house to put on all our warm clothes and grab the last bottle of wine. There's too much light emanating from our compound of cabins, so we drive down the road a few minutes and turn onto a dark gravel track that sits among some rocky outcroppings. We look up at what is quickly morphing into a superb display of lights.
What follows is a cacophony of hoots and hollers, both of us yelling into the night sky as the purple and greens rays dance around one another. It's a surreal, astounding sight. So strange that we wonder if someone may have slipped us a psychedelic drug. The darker it gets the brighter the lights become. It lasts for a few hours, but not long enough. Around two a.m. the sky darkens and snow begins to fall. We head back to our warm cabin, tuck ourselves in and both agree that this may just be the most awesome night of our lives.