Oh, What a Little Nordic Light Can Do…

So, as has been well-established by now, I have become a big ‘ol nature-loving hippie here in Iceland, and having taken some time to tell you all about the wonders of waterfalls, shoreline birds, Icelandic sheepdog puppies, and farm animals, I would now like to expound on Icelandic light.

So guess what? It’s awesome. (Surprise!) Even when–or especially when–there isn’t much of it. You really come to value daylight when the sunrise doesn’t happen until nearly 10 AM and it starts getting dark at 4:00 PM. (And yes, this is only the beginning.)

I was having a pretty rough morning on Monday–didn’t sleep well or much and was all out of sorts. After struggling through class (not even uplifted by my mid-break kleina, I’m sad to say–doughnuts apparently have some limit to their powers), I decided that I would walk to the library (it wasn’t raining finally) and get a little fresh air. I walked out of the classroom and turned toward town and noticed that not only was there a beautiful cap of snow on Esja, the light was also really blue and lovely.

I continued walking toward Tjörnin, which afforded me an even more exceptional view of town and more of that awesome blue light.

That’s no snazzy camera effect–that’s really just how it looked. And you know what? I felt tons better. And by the time I got to the ducks in the corner quacking their way across the partially frozen pond surface, I was pretty much 100%.

And then if that wasn’t enough, check out the sunrise this morning!

Now it’s just getting silly. (This photo, by the way, was taken around 9:45 AM.)

This all puts me in mind of a quote that stuck with me after reading Jón Kalman Stefánsson’s Heaven and Hell:

“…there is nothing to see in Iceland except mountains, waterfalls, tussocks and this light that can transfix you and turn you into a poet.”

So, thank you, Iceland. I’m not a poet (nor do I have plans of becoming one), but I have been a bit transfixed for sure.


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