The steam of a cup of noodles fogs my glasses as I stand on the balcony and I wait and wait for a glimpse of the northern lights. I know I’m in Iceland, but I’m not entirely sure of where I am, part of me feels in outer space and the other part, doesn’t care. The cold September air takes my breath away, and any hint of cold dissipates by the sting of the hot cup of spicy noodles that I insist on holding even if they are too hot and even if they are searing my tongue, my hands, and my stomach. The scent of the spicy steam from the noodles hides behind the smell of burning wood in a distant fireplace.
I sit in silence waiting for the northern lights I close my eyes and replay second by second everything I’ve lived. In a day I did what, to me, seemed like a week’s worth of activities. I was tired, but I was in a wonderland. Everywhere I looked I was surprised to find something new, something odd.
In my silence there appears the sound of running water, it intensifies, and I see myself standing face to face with /Seljalandsfoss/ a powerful waterfall whose energy draws me closer and closer to the edge of the water. The powerful fall coming from a plateau covered in the iconic green moss covered volcanic rock that overpowers the landscape. The force of the water has shaped the land to build a ledge around the fall. Standing behind the waterfall I could feel the cool mist and the wind hitting me straight in the face, a sense of satisfaction overtook me. I open my eyes to the smell of burning wood and take a big gulp of noodles, and I wait for the northern lights.
My mind keeps drifting and drifting. I’ve traveled the world and yet nothing I’ve seen compares to Iceland. I think back to the drastic change of landscapes from red looking mounds to lava fields flat, and black with sprinkled greens. The complete lack of trees played with my head, and the absence of mosquitos baffled me. The glaciers and access to them were uncanny to me it seemed almost negligent but somehow, unique. I remember the way that the glacier was somehow unique, magnetizing. The glacier drew me closer and closer; I could almost touch it. I looked up, and it towered over me, I could hear the rivers and falls within, and the closer I got the larger the stream stemming from this behemoth grew. Eyes closed, wood in the air, the cup of noodles now just warm and sitting outside I couldn’t help but wonder if I was on earth or if I was somewhere else.
I keep my eyes open, and I fight with my urge to sleep. I am eager to see the northern lights. The steam, which is half what it once was, keeps hitting my face. The air feels cooler and almost electric. In the backgrounds, mountain tops illuminated by the bright moon, and then from behind the distant mounds, small rays of green peaked through the mountain. My jaw drops and the northern lights were faint. My heart skipped a beat and unaware of whether I was on earth or mars; I can’t help but feel a sense of isolation and adventure.
Iceland’s sounds, scents, views. The chilly September wind and the bright green moss. The powerful waterfalls, and the small thermal springs that run rampant through the country. Iceland’s beauty and forces drew the awe and wondered out of me, and though I know Iceland is on this planet, I can not be convinced its beauty and forces are on this planet.