The crush of snow underfoot echoes in the deep winter of Tromsø. All other sounds sleep under a white, white blanket, waiting for the sun to rise in six weeks time.
I am most intrigued by the pale sky. It fades between hues of blue and grey. That faraway sun, suspended below the horizon, would be too much to bare if I lived here, but at least the brightly painted houses punctuate the streets and hint at the living warmth within.
My mission in Tromsø is the same mission held by so many other southern-dwellers who venture into the Arctic circle. I’m told not to get my hopes up, that the Northern Lights are mysterious and unpredictable, taunting travellers for days, leaving only the cold black night for their searching eyes.
But mere hours have passed before I’m trudging through shin-deep snow, crunching in the empty night, up towards the hill-top cemetery , towards the hope of those eerie green dancers overhead. And sometime between the ice-dripping tombstone and the frosting wind and the fear that my toes will be bitten by sub-zero air, I look up to see silent green waves whisking and waving across a starry sky.