Here’s one in Njardvík. Just a young one in its grass stage, in a hoard of rusty iron, not of gold. You have to be a bigger dragon to get your own pile of gold.
Well, Grótfjall is a handsome mountain, to be sure. Viewing it from the Njardvik Beach, its easy enough to see that some of it is down here, making the valley floor, rather than up in the sky, making its hat.
But what’s that on the mountain? A dragon? And isn’t the sod collapsing over the cliff into sea, its wings? And aren’t there dragon shapes a-plenty, in the wet-dry patterning of the cliff? You tell me. I just know that walking through this fjord as a dragon story makes every relationship significant, in the way every word and sound in poetry means more than the poem’s sense.
If nothing else, it reveals the more of the mountains lies on the shore than in the air. A flat mountain. That’s a fine experience in climbing! But, wait, isn’t that a troll peeking out from the bottom of the cliff on the left? What’s his story?
It is good to remember that humans are prey. It keeps us on our toes.
If you open the picture in a new window, it will be larger and you will see the dragon clear as day.
And if you look back, you might spot its midwife guardian.
A good place to walk with respect!
Longs ago, lava flowed off Snæfells Volcano. Then a glacier settled in and began to comb wind out of the sky and blow it across the land, just so. The result is dragons in the lee of the lava, where the snow, the very stuff of the glacier, collects along the sea.
Imagine what the mountain is doing to you!
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.
It builds for days…
A dragon curled around its flame.
(Its right eye is just below the middle of the image. This image and the ones of transformed rocks and flowers that follow are taken on Rauðhóll.)
…with flowers bringing stones to life…
An Elf with a Crown of Flowers
… sometimes in humanly-recognizable form…
The Horse Sleipnir Carrying þor as a One-Eyed Moon on Its Back
… and sometimes not (which is the most amazing part) …
.. but then, in the low, late evening light on June 21, the hills rise up around you in the horizontal light. It’s just that night. The next morning they begin to ebb away, not all at once, but you can notice the difference. On midsummer night, though…
… you truly live between worlds and can see the past and future. Lest you feel special, just remember, the sheep see this all the time.
Life is indeed good.
The manly trolls of Gulfoss…
… and the worms (um, gold collecting dragons, you know the type) of Gulfoss…
.. and if the worm has the head of a ram, well, this is Iceland, after all.
And the flag … this flag:
… flies between them.
So now you know, too.