The cold, crisp, cloudless sky is bright, with some unseen force manipulating the stratosphere, lighting up the night. The heavens going green, everything above us swims across the horizon, a moving wave, curling, swirling, changing from second to second. Standing next to my father in a frozen field just a bit below the Arctic Circle, we’re both clad head to toe in warm snowmobile suits, heavy boots set firmly in the squeaky snow. A little bit of ice on his beard, his face formed into a look of wonder, my dad says, just one word — and it’s in Swedish. While I’m unsure of the exact translation, I’m pretty sure I know what he means.

In some ways, I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole life. Not so much the Northern Lights — I’ve seen those before, and they’re always magnificent. But rather, just being here, in Sweden with my father.

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