Sunday, October 10, 2004

Snow White

Grave in Snæfellsnes

   In the shadow of Snæfellsjökull (a small glacier in western Iceland) is a humble church and a small graveyard. The church is covered in corrugated metal, as are most small buildings in this nearly treeless country.

   The graveyard is in a small pasture-like area, with a surface of boggy turf, surrounded by a low stone fence. This is not an old church, the graveyard is nearly empty, but there are a few stones and markers. One grave is defined by a white wooden frame. Lining the frame is a bed of white gravel, a rarity in this black lava dominated country. There are a few small pots with plastic flowers nestled in the gravel, and a metal trough in the shape of a cross in the center filled with live plants, now dormant. An upright white cross with a brass plaque tells the name and the dates of birth and death of the body residing here: an older woman who had lived a full life in this isolated community. The sting of death is eased somewhat by the decorations on the site. Small brightly colored figures of the seven dwarfs (Disney version) placed there no doubt by her loving grandchildren in this lonely and desolate place.

By Professor Batty



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