12 September 2007


This morning I woke to the clatter of rain on the window, and gusts pulsating through the open window that made the shade squeak and the door bang fiercely. Snug in feathers I enjoyed this special breed of Icelandic storm, noisy and insistent. It drowns out all sounds of modernity, so for that moment it could be 100 years ago, even if you are in the middle of a city.

Those warm-up exercises I mentioned a week ago must have been effective, since I returned from Norway to find that the door on the landing had apparently been ripped off its hinges by another enthusiastic storm last week, leaving a spray of splinters across the carpet, and bending the curtain rod into uselessness. The door's now boarded into place with sturdy blocks of wood, and seems to be impervious to these newer blasts today.

Although it is hard to walk in sometimes, wind and storms like this are invigorating to me. High at my sixth floor desk, I watch the sheets of rain swirl across the nearly empty parking lot, listen to the whistling through the slight crack in the window, and observe the smoky clouds in their majestic course out to sea. I'm sure that, like most Icelandic storms, this one too will be a memory by afternoon, but for now I am relishing the insanity of it, and the odd calm that comes from everyone scurrying about so quickly to stay inside, tucked away from the fury of the sea's weather systems.


tsduff said...

You make even storms sound wonderful. I do love a good storm, but they are few and far between here in the SF bay area. The last good one I was in was when I was in Wyoming last month, with the thunder, hot wind, and massive lightning bolts electrifying the dark sky, gigantic drops of water drenching everything in their sideways sheets... I love the picture you painted of being surrounded in the cozy feathers of the comforter.

Kris Lewis said...

After living in Iceland for 4 years it's amazing that on my list of things I miss is sideways rain. You're right, there is something very primal and invigorating about the blasts off the Atlantic. My Icelandic friends still think I'm insane for just breathing in the salt mist in the air and enjoying getting soaked to the bone. Actually got to listen to the wind during a phone call to said friends earlier in the week as she stepped into the apartment hallway for a cigarette. Made me think of hot chocolate, kjott supa, and of course Braud. I miss Iceland!!!

ECS said...

tsduff: well, I think it runs in my family to find storms thrilling. I know my mom loves them, as does at least one brother. When I was in high school, my bedroom was in an attic under a tin roof, and I remember LOVING the sound of a good solid rain storm on the roof.

kris: that's sort of comical, I have to say, but I do agree with you. When I have been away for a long time I find that first gulp of air when I step out the door at KEF to be very refreshing.

hexe said...

I love a good, hard, cool, rain - hot tea and a good book are the perfect accompanyments for watching a storm.

Viktoria said...

Hi, I agree that storms can be peaceful and invigorating, you're a great blogger. Maybe you should becamoe an author if you do I'll look out for your books! hehe

ECS said...

hexe: it also happens to be a great time for swimming here. I LOVE doing laps when it's windy and rainy and you're all surrounded by velvety Icelandic pool-water. Delicious.

viktoria: thanks! I have too many other things I like doing so this is gonna remain my "novel" for the time being. If I HAD to write I think it wouldn't come out very well.