Cozily sitting in my room listening to the residual winds from our recent Nor'easter takes me back to the country that truly reminded me of my place in the natural world.
Spending a week in its capital city also exposed me to a much simpler & sturdier way of life than we in the convenience-oriented U.S. are used to. The landscapes of Iceland are truly and deeply striking. They call it "the land of the Gods" and after trekking over a fair portion of it during the winter, I can see why.
Soaring snowy mountains, volcanic soil plains as far as the eye can see, rocky crags, beaches of black sand & towering rock formations, geothermal lagoons & searing hot geysers and not to forget the unbelievable & conquering WINDS...you can feel a natural power running through every part of the whole country.
I have never been reminded so vividly of the fact that if Mother Nature (or the Gods) wanted to put us humans back into our proper place? It would not be difficult to do. The pride that the Icelandic people have for their home & the respect they have for its forces of nature is to be greatly admired. They are a fiercely independent culture, strong-willed & kind, and though their history on the island only dates back about 1,300 years, it is a rich history of faith, war, survival, loyalty & bravery.
For us modern folk: The flight is short & cheap, the lodgings are reasonable, the food is delicious (but obscenely expensive), all the hot water is actually geothermal water piped directly into the city from the outlying country (beware the strong sulfuric smell though), the museums are fascinating, and the views are powerful to say the least. The weather in winter is not for the faint of heart, but worth the braving if you have an intrepid soul.
Even with a whole week, it wasn't enough - I can't wait to see it in summer someday.
And you had better believe, I will...