Everybody knows that we Guildsmen honour the Full Moon and, in return, are blessed with twice our normal strength beneath its glow (when it bothers coming out from behind the clouds).
I am not a man prone to ‘freaking’, but when I discovered that January-2014’s Full Moon (the Wolf Moon) lands exactly on my birthday…I freaked out. When I could sit still again, I considered how best to celebrate such an occurrence. After all, a Guildsman doesn’t believe in coincidence – he maintains that everything happens for a reason. That reason is normally rum.
I toyed with various ideas – feasting, fighting, conquering something or other – but then a realisation shimmered ethereally across my sky…
I have never seen the Northern Lights…and it is currently solar maximum, meaning there is more solar activity now than there has been since I was 15 and will be until I am 37.
Thus it was decided. On my 27th birthday, beneath the Full Wolf Moon, I shall stride out into the Forest of Thor and bask in the glow of the Aurora Borealis – that which inspired the stories that inspired me. The Meta-Inspiration! (Seriously, how many cool names does the Polar Aurorae need?)
Or that’s the plan, anyway. It might by cloudy. It is normally cloudy when I try to do epic things beneath the Full Moon.
In other words, I am going to Iceland for the first time in my life! The chances of seeing the aurora on my birthday with a Full Moon in the sky is probably very slim, but even the most outside chance is worth the journey.
Yet there is another reason why this is a particularly appropriate way to celebrate my birthday.
Ask almost anybody and they’ll agree that seeing the Northern Lights is is in their shortlist of things to do “before they die”.
Despite that, nobody ever seems to go looking for them. In my mind, this is the perfect example of what this blog is about: doing things anybody could do, but chooses not to…for no reason I can understand.
There is nothing tricky about going to see the Northern Lights. In fact, the main reason I haven’t gone before is because it has become TOO easy and I have found myself determined to do it like a badass; traipsing across the ice and camping out for days, waiting for a glimpse of the magic…
…and I can and will still do that. This time around, however, we are hiring a 4×4 and spending 5 days driving around Iceland, looking for the lights, seeing the sights and drinking in the culture that has fascinated me for a decade. (And drinking in the rum. All of it!)
Do you know how we did it? We did a 14 second Google search, found a package of flights, accommodation and car rental that seemed reasonable, picked up the phone and booked it. Granted, there were days of agonised decision-making, but that was because there were TOO MANY different ways to do it!
Sure it can cost you £10,000 in a heartbeat, but it can also cost you £300 if you do some research and time it correctly. Yet it seems as though nobody ever bothers… So I’m bothering…to bother.
Then I will no longer be one of the thousands who say “I’d LOVE to see the Northern Lights!” and then look blankly when asked why they don’t go looking.
A Final Thought
Six days after I return from Iceland, I shall run Tough Guy Winter 2014. This too is something lots of people say they will do, but when it comes to signing up they back out.
There are over 300 posts on this blog now and, if I am trying to do anything with them, it is document my struggle to forge a unbreakable link between what what I feel, what I say and what I do.
After all, words are wind. Deeds…are..deeds.
(Note to self: work on your profound endings.)