IMG_0025My family and I are right now on a vacation in Iceland.

On this August day we bundle up in our down jackets, hats, gloves and scarves and set out to discover some of the wonders of this island. We see breathtaking, thunderous waterfalls; bubbling blue mud pots and steamy fumeroles; rugged rocks, green fields, and other places that look as desolate as the moon. Today’s weather (besides being cold) is misty and gray. The landscape is so eerily atmospheric and ethereal that I could swear I see trolls in the rocks. Every bit is, to borrow a phrase, “a marvelous work and a wonder.” This place is extraordinary and I’m loving every minute.

My daughter-in-law Anne had a short conversation with an Icelandic woman at a convenience store near the place where the devil supposedly landed when he was cast out of heaven.

“How do you like our terrible Iceland weather?” the woman asked Anne.

“I love it! Iceland is beautiful!” Anne said.

“Why would anyone come to Iceland? The weather is always terrible – always cold and wet,” the woman insisted.

“We came prepared so we’re doing fine. I’m loving Iceland!”

“I wish I could leave this place. The weather is always terrible.”

Granted, we are visiting during the US’s hottest month so the low clouds and drizzle (and yes, some serious rain) seem a refreshing change for us. What looks green and lush in some regions in Iceland now must indeed be barren and frozen for much of the rest of the year. How glorious can that be? And don’t forget that while the sun hasn’t really set since we got here three days ago, all fall and winter it essentially won’t rise either. Maybe the lady in the line was on to something.

Anne’s conversation got me thinking. It’s true that the unrelenting cold/tedium/hard work or fill-in-the-blank unappealing aspects of our life sometimes lower like a thick fog, blinding us to the “Must see!” components of our lives. Sometimes we fear those “terrible weather” periods are all there is to life.

Isn’t the task to remember that we came here prepared? And that more resources are available – from faith, family, friends and that delightful duty-free concept called perspective?

Gotta run now. We’re off to the lava fields! Should be a … blast!


  1. Jim Gott

    August 8, 2014

    Art and life can never be enjoyed and approached from 2 inches away. We must step back and look through new and very different lenses. The new lenses must have balance and perspective to be able to take in all the beauty and pain that makes up the everyday greatness of life

  2. Naismith

    August 8, 2014

    Oh, we were in Iceland in June, and loved every minute.

    As a bicycle commuter In Real Life, I get much wetter and colder than we did in Iceland.

    And of course there are the hot baths 364 days of the year!

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