"You went to Iceland in February? Why on earth would you go there at that time of year?"
My brother would have answered, "I've always wanted to try fresh puffin and whale." My dad would have replied, "It's the cheapest time to go."
I was 45 years old and I'd never seen the northern lights.
After a week of wind and stormy skies, the weather our last night in Reyjavik was clear and crisp. Our rental car was due an hour before our flight home the following day. I'd marked several locations on the map away from the lights of the city. I was almost breathless with anticipation.
We spent the evening in a sports bar, watching the Super Bowl.
* * * *
Years later, at my home in Ohio, I awoke suddenly from a sound sleep. The red numbers on the bedside clock read 3:15 a.m.
I walked to the front window and looked out over the snow-covered lawn. I shoved my feet into my boots, pulled my coat on over my pajamas and walked outside, where I watched the swirl of colors until they disappeared, just before dawn.