15 May 2006

I wear my sunglasses at night

That time of year has arrived, when the darkness is almost entirely erased, and the sun's path is visible for almost the entire circling of the earth. They call the day "sólarhring" (sun-ring) here, and for good reason. Even after the sun has officially set, the glow lights up the clouds from behind the mountains until it comes up again.

During the week it can be disorienting, and sometimes annoying, bringing back memories of early bedtimes at dusk in the summer when I was a child. On the weekends though, it is a wonderful thing. Two hours at the pool seems like nothing when the sun hasn't sunk in the sky at all, and when I went out last Saturday, I brought my sunglasses for the idyllic walk downtown at 9:30 in the evening. People were still out trimming their lawns, touching up paint on fences, and enjoying the fragrance of summertime. After a few hours inside, I walked home in the darkest part of the night and came home to this spectacular view from the balcony.

It's hard-earned beauty after the noontime sunrises of December and January, but the transformation is so miraculous these past few weeks that it's easy to forget those times ever existed. I remember last year when I arrived J said I had no idea, and implied that I hadn't "earned" the splendid weather and brightness. Now, after spending the winter here, I understand what he means. People who come here without witnessing the progress and transformation think it's cool, interesting, and lovely, but have no idea of the days the residents of the country have logged in darkness before emerging into this golden illuminated landscape. I'm glad visitors like Iceland, but now I agree that until you've spent a winter here, you will not be able to appreciate the light as much.

Ship sighting: I watched a backlit Snorri Sturluson come in on time for its 9pm arrival as I was writing. There's also a new fishing ship in the slip for repairs, called Brettingur.


cK said...

Beautiful photo. Thanks for sharing it.

SB said...

Man how I miss those Icelandic summer nights!
E - it'll only get better!!!! Believe me.
I miss it.

Boston and North Shore have been under water, fortunately only 2 deaths connected to the emergency floding.
You are so blessed over there these days!
Love your snaps

ECS said...

Thanks! It's easy to take beautiful photos here, I think. The landscape is so spare and the light is often magical.

Sirrý- I remember when the darkness disappeared entirely last year how weird it was to me. It still is, but I enjoy watching the sun setting into the sea so much. Iceland sure knows how to put on a show.