Gunnar’s Grave

When Gunnar was a boy at ValÞfjösstaður Farm, he was given a walnut for Christmas: one walnut. It was an unimaginable gift of wealth. He ate the nut, and with the one half intact shell, he made a boat and set into the stream, the ValÞfjösstaðurá, that flowed off the Ogre’s Stairway above the farm, and chased along beside as it went. Out of that walnut, he dreamed of ships crossing the sea, and of leaving isolation to be a full citizen of the greater world. He did, and then he came home, and then he went to Reykjavik. He’s buried now on Viðey, the holy island in Old Reykjavik Harbour. I tried to bring him a stone from home four years ago, but it was late in the year and the ferry wasn’t running. I promised to come back. I did, just last fall. I brought him a gift from across the sea.skald

Do you see the walnut shell there, for his travels? Fare well, dear Gunnar, on whatever seas bear you.

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