The Story of Our Little Miracle

After our long study tour, my class was already in Oslo, so we decided to extend our stay and take our own trip up to Tromsø. I think that is a testament to how close your core course can get. Honestly, I had the trip of a lifetime that probably includes many of my favorite moments of studying abroad so far–I fed reindeer, I saw AMAZING stars, and I got to be in the Arctic Circle (which surprisingly wasn’t any colder than Buffalo in my opinion). Today, I wanted to share a story of a type of magic that isn’t fiction… the magic of ordinary life and fate and timing and friendship.

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are hidden in the most unlikley places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

Roald dahl

Once upon a time, there were two girls. Let’s call them Tess and Katie. They met mere months before–so we can identify their quick, close friendship as the first magical moment of the day.

Tess and Katie started out the day with a bus ride adventuring away from the city. They weaved through giant mountains topped with snow to finally arrive and share their magical friendship with even more friends–Santa’s helpers (reindeer, duh)! Unfortunately, Rudolph was busy helping Santa prepare for Christmas, so they did not see any red-nosed reindeer. But they were just as excited to meet Dancer, Vixon, etc. Every Christmas, Tess leaves out reindeer feed, but they always eat the food before she wakes up, so it was so amazing for her to be able to feed them out of her hand for once!

After their time out in the cold, they got to enjoy the warmth of hot chocolate and cookies inside a traditional Sami people’s hut! Then, because they were so far north, they watched the sun start to set at 2:20PM, and by 3:30PM it watch pitch black.

The sun might have set, but Tess and Katie were not ready to end their day. They were up for more adventure! So, they decided to take a four-minute-long cable car up to the top of a mountain to see the sparkling lights of the city below.

One minute passed…

Two minutes passed…

Three minutes passed…

Four minutes passed…

Oh! How amazing the top of the mountain was–some might say it was magic! Tess and Katie could see the sparkling stars of space glittering above them and then look down and see the glistening lights of the city below. After about 20 minutes of staring in awe, they decided to head inside and grab a snack.

After their bellies were satisfied and filled, Tess and Katie thought about heading down the cable cars. But Tess wanted to go stand in the glory of the stars and lights one more time.

As they walked outside, they left many people inside. Tess and Katie were the only two on the platform when they noticed a faint green line in the sky. Remember, they are in the Arctic Circle, so the green light could only be one thing. THE NORTHERN LIGHTS! The two started jumping up and down and screaming. But then, the magic really started.

Tess and Katie heard something that sounded like raw energy, and then they saw it. The lights in the sky moved with immense speed and overtook the sky. The sky was the canvas and the light was the paint being dragged by the invisible brush. It burst through the air. Expanding, contracting, breathing, dancing. The colors of white and green and pink created a blanket over the city below. The northern lights they saw had color, they had movement, they had SOUND, they had creativity and flexibility. They had LIFE.

Simply no other explanation for these amazing lights other than magic. Just as quickly as the lights came, the lights left–in all of four minutes.

Four minutes of shock and awe and grace and harmony and beauty. Four minutes that couldn’t be captured on camera. Four minutes of purely just living in bliss and in the moment.

Tess even saw a shooting star right after the northern lights show. And she didn’t even have anything to wish for because at that moment, she had all that she needed.

After those four minutes, other people started to come outside and look for the northern lights. But they were gone. The northern lights were there just for Tess and Katie. They wanted to say hi to the two girls and no one else. It was Tess and Katie’s little miracle.

Tess and Katie processed just for a bit longer.

But eventually, they had to leave the mountain and take the cable car down. They had lives to return to.

One minute passed…

Two minutes passed…

Three minutes passed…

Four minutes passed…

The cable car took them back down to Earth, back down to real life. Maybe the top of the cable car was an alternate reality, Tess and Katie sure thought so. And they might have physically left that alternate reality, but they didn’t lose that feeling of magic.

If one thing went differently on that day, Tess and Katie would’ve missed the wonderful show that they so much enjoyed. Maybe they decided not to go on the cable car, maybe they decided to grab a snack, or maybe they didn’t want that one last look at the stars in the sky before heading down the cable car.


I had a pretty blessed life that day (and every other day). I thought that if I saw the northern lights I would be silent and take it all in but in all honesty, Katie and I just started screaming profanities. The two of us wouldn’t shut up about the show we saw and I’m convinced everyone else thought the two of us were insane and making the whole thing up. It just wasn’t possible to process the literal magic the two of us experienced.

Just wanted to share a friendly reminder for people to see the magic in ordinary, everyday things and wanted to give a huge shoutout to Katie for being there with me to see the northern lights so people didn’t think I was crazy! I’ll never forget our little miracle. Even if people think we were crazy, here are some pictures as proof of our magical day and pictures from our hike the next day! Shoutout to Haley for joining some of our adventures too 🙂

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