This celestial, overturned bottle of fairy liquid in the sky is the most spectacular light show I have ever seen. The Aurora Borealis, can be seen from Donegal and other northerly, coastal points in Ireland but, to be in Finland, right underneath them, lying in the snow, gazing upwards at the moving, liquid, colour-changing kaleidescope, it was like a religious experience. It was awesome, in the literal, not the American sense of the word!
The air was clear, the sky felt close and streaked across it were red and green streamers, criss-crossing, dancing, illuminating the night.
It was as if a childlike, heavenly angel had taken out some paint pots and began to play, using the sky as a giant colouring book – red here, green there, orange sometimes, blue too, vivid colours against the inky, black sky.
I watched, captivated, my breath visible in the freezing cold air, sometimes lying down, sometimes standing, my feet rooted to the spot, afraid to miss a moment of what was unfolding above me. I was lucky to see it. It clouded over the next day. But I managed to see them again, a few days later, further north, close to the Swedish border; these ones were different. Wisps of light. As if Harry Potter was up there waving his wand and shouting ‘LUMOS’. Then, abruptly, they stopped, as if someone had turned off a switch.