At Vik, the old harbour north of Straumeyri, under Hafnarfjall, the night, a terrible force from the emptiness of the universe, does its best to freeze the sea. The sea, itself consumed with throwing itself upon the land and wearing it away, is consumed by this double battle and draws away to rest and to engage in battle again in the next cycle of the moon. The story of this battle of monstrous forces lies on the strand. It is, in fact, the strand, and can be read like any other book and walked like any other sentence. This is Iceland, Middle Earth, that small piece of land in a hostile universe where humans can make a go of it, amidst the forces of giants.
The strand (or tideline) on the gravel (or the seas grrrrrowl, that wakes with every human step. Tread carefully!
One learns to get by. In fact, reading the story of the night’s battle, and walking it step by step as it unfolds, is not only highly enjoyable but musical. The sea ice sings, screams, whistles, chirps and howls under your feet, translated from its long line into the rhythmic step of your feet, and so poetry is born. But do wear three layers of gloves. It can be cold reading out there, with nothing between you and the universe but a layer of silk, a layer of fleece and a layer of thermally-lined nylon.