Here is Gunnar’s corner of Iceland. Snæfell in the distance calls the water out of the air, then sheds it and fills the valley floor with its watery self. The lake is the mountain.
And it is here in the spring, when you stand on the shore, you can hear the mountain talk to you through the ice as it is lifted and set down by the waves lifted and set down by the breath of the mountain. It sounds like a flock of joyous birds. Really. You should go. It’s worth the trip to hear it through the birch trees, to keep walking as it grows louder and louder, and then, well, to be right inside it.
Snæfell, the great mountain of East Iceland (not to be confused with Snæfell, the great mountain of West Iceland), is rarely seen. She cloaks herself in weather.
Gunnar’s House is just above lake level (and just past the lake), pretty much in the centre of the image.
She is always present, however, not just in the cloud she gathers to herself out of the living air but also in the Lagarfljót, the lake that fills the valley below her. There you can walk along the shore of the water she collects out of the sky. Snæfell is one of the great transformers — much like a great white raven, really.
… makes its own weather…
… in its own shape, just faster.
And then wraps itself in it. So does the land give voice to the sea.
So many travellers spend a week, or less, driving around Iceland to see everything, in the pattern of a modern “grand tour.” A more-authentic Icelandic experience would be to sit down with a mountain and learn …
… it’s not just sitting there.
What do volcanoes dream of? (Let’s face it, they sure do dream.)
Why, heading a football for the national team, of course.
Sometimes you have to wait for the team to come, though. Sidelined on a bench. That’s the danger of being an ogre. Well, you take it in stride, right?
It’s hard for a land to evolve into human society, but it’s inspiring that it’s giving it a good Icelandic try!