24 June 2007

Ísland, ég elska þig

I returned home on Friday after a week in Norway. As we flew over the eastern coastline, I caught a glimpse of Jökulsárlón, the magical sea-glacier-lagoon-ocean place to the east, then the landscape below opened across the glaciers and rivers and the emptiness of this vast land. Not bad. I got home to find all kinds of delicious post had arrived, and the wonderfully thoughtful package delivery technique they've got going here. Rather than trying to drop the boxes off during the day, the post truck comes round in the evenings when people are home, so you actually have a chance of receiving it. Clever stuff, that.
And then on Saturday, I'm walking to the pool when the Baggalútur song I talked about a few months ago came up on the shuffle, and I thought, "yes, indeed, Ísland, ég elska þig". These days it feels like there ought be no other place than this, with the columbines and buttercups twining round the front steps, the lilac-looking flower things (so poetic, no?) bursting over walls and crowding the sidewalk. Iceland is truly, fully idyllic now, all jammed with touristpeople staring skywards at sunset, lined up Easter-Island style along the bay.
I mowed the lawn today, and as spiraled in, inhaling the scent of trimmed grass and the little herbs growing between the blades, I felt all penny-lane in the little yard, ducking under the clothes lines where I dry my sheets. I'm sure some of my joy is that I got my visa renewal acceptance letter in the post on Friday, and I'm legal for more than another year. It's not unexpected but somehow the little "hey, stick around" gives me that extra boost that makes even mowing the lawn seem superfun.
By now this going-away-makes-Iceland-love-bloom is a bit of a tired theme, but it is really remarkable how thoroughly the enchantment returns every time. I like Norway- I love the trains with the ski racks in them, the sneakpeek at warm weather and the chance at bare legs. I love the new diversity of people on the street, and the lushness of a poperly forested countryside. It's great to feast on culinary diversity for a week, but Iceland right now is at its most lovely and I don't want to miss any of it!

Oh, and before I forget, for you Baggalútur fans, they've got another unpublished song available for a listen on their website.


tsduff said...

Having just gotten a taste of Amsterdam, and an even shorter taste of Iceland on the trip home(alas, you could hear me moaning through the airport windows at Keflavik Aiport), hearing you write about Iceland as I've beheld, smelled, felt, heard and yes, even tasted it, makes my longing to be there again nearly unbearable...

ECS said...

tsduff: I've been reading about your travels and it sounds like you had a pretty great trip, even if you did miss out on this fair land. I think you'll be back here though, since it appears that you're one of the people with the Iceland Bug!

Karyn said...

I know your feelings well. I was very lucky to have lived in Iceland for 5 years, 5 years ago. I came back for the first time a few weeks ago and left a few days ago, and I've been depressed to be back away from there. I adore Iceland, especially during the summer, but the winter has a special charm all its own too that I also loved.

So I also say, Ísland, ég elska þig!