Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Seduction

A friend had just returned from Iceland and couldn’t stop raving: “You must go, don’t think about it, just do it. Bring warm clothes and an open mind… ”

It was all so easy, everything I needed to do was just a few clicks away: the flight, lodging, day-trips, even a hiking adventure. The most difficult part was convincing my routine-bound mindset that this would be more than just another mediocre vacation.

After a night spent soaring over the stygian Atlantic we touched down and were greeted by a rising sun. It accompanied the Flybus all the way into Reykjavík—its fiery countenance seemed to be saying “Velkominn heim.” At the hotel I left my luggage and then went to soak my jet-lag away in the warm waters of the neighborhood pool, Vesturbæjarlaug. As I was talking to the regulars in the hot pot I could feel my old routines began to melt away. It felt as if I was ready for anything Iceland had to offer, including the hike scheduled for the following day.

As our tour bus went farther and farther into the countryside, every turn in the road brought a new vista and my rational thinking began drifting away. Arriving at the trailhead, we floated into a new world—a world of unfettered sensation. Each breath of the polar air heightened our awareness even as it stilled our thoughts. By the time we reached the end of the trail even the most talkative of the hikers had fallen silent.

Zeppelin-esque clouds traversed the gradated sky, slowly but relentlessly, on their voyage to oblivion, drifting over beds of moss softer than dreams of lambs and a landscape more delicate than fairy wings. Citron and lavender silks unfurled above the infinite horizon while below this aerial display a vaporous veil poured itself into the sensuous curves of the valley primeval, as if the earth was embracing these overtures from the sky in a gentle caress of an old lover.

The moist breath of Nature whispered: “Now Iceland has become a part of you.”

This was my entry to the 2020 Iceland Writers Retreat contest, a short writing based on the image by Roman Gerasymenko, pictured above.

I didn’t win so, if I am going to go, I'll have to pay my own way.

So I did!

The retreat is April 29-May 3, and I booked some extra time before and after, of course.


By Professor Batty


Blogger jono said...

I knew you couldn't stay away for long!

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