Oh, others are showy, but, over time, after wandering over and through many lava fields and stony wastes, the willow’s stunning, low-level, never-repeated poetic lines win out.
The birch forests of Ásbyrgi are not passable, except slowly and in no direction not directed by the trees.
The words for human bodies come from trees like this: body, belly, bone, arm, branch, and so on. Only after these properties were named were the names applied to humans. Before that, our ancestors saw only the trees. In that sense, we are the hidden people, just as much as we are the boughs, beams, trunks and bodies reaching here.
We went to Seyðisfjörður to visit the dwarf church, one of our favourite places in Iceland, but sadly it is no longer accessible except by boat. However, we had the good fortune to walk down to the beach at Skardsvik, on the complete other side of the country, and there was a whole dwarf fortress. Hurrah!
Note the red stone to the right of the opening.
I really love the next one.
Here it is close up.
Always leave a gift. I left a pink flower, as I had no coins in my pocket. (Always carry coins in your pocket. That’s a new rule.) And then, on the road again:
In this way, the land is never empty. In this way, the land is always a gift and never full.
This one is hunting elf sheep. The bright, emerald-green patch in the dragon’s mouth is the sheep’s fleece, and another elf sheep forms its eye. It is, in other words, possible to be attacked by a dragon, and survive. You might, however, be held in its thrall for a few thousand years.
On Midsummer Eve Day, we climbed Rauðhóll (Red Hill.) I was enchanted by all the dragons still coming to live in this new tephra cone. Here’s the first one that caught my eye. Many dozens followed. I was surrounded!
I was fascinated by how each leg or wing of the dragon was a dragon of its own. That’s some very deep, persistent dragon-ness! It’s a beautiful volcanic site, too.