Following a thrilling day driving my husky sled across the low fells of Finnish Lapland we enjoyed a hearty Lappish dinner cooked and served by a roaring fire in a traditional Finnish wooden kota. My fellow guests and I then plodded through the soft pristine snow down to the imagined shoreline where our guide waited with five wooden sleighs, each pulled by a single reindeer. Slowly but surely, these gentle and patient creatures eased their human cargo across the surface of the lake as their passengers gazed up at the starlit sky in the hope that the clouds would stay away and give us the possible chance of a Northern Lights display.
Rumour amongst our group was that the night-sky might become too cloudy, but we'd checked our Apps and knew the KP-index was a strong factor 6 indicating a high chance that the Northern Lights may appear. The spring nights in the Arctic Circle are much lighter than in the depths of winter and it took some time, huddled around the campfire after our sleigh-ride before the sky was properly darkened and only lit by starlight.
Then, from nowhere, we spotted a glimmer in the distance and a thin veil of pale white-green light began to shimmer in the night sky, gentling rippling and dancing like drapes of paper-thin muslin hung in the heavens. We headed towards the centre of the lake to get a clearer view away from the fireside lights. Here we stood in awe as the Northern Lights filled the sky with a huge arc of light stretching right above our heads over the lake: I can only compare the feeling to being able to stand right underneath a rainbow and in that instance, all the folklore and ancient myths suddenly made sense; surely angels must appear in a similar way?
Photography by Antti Pietikainen