Still a small world even when you're on the edge of it.
And just like that, eight days have slipped by in this delerious place of eternal daylight. Just as subtly, we've slipped too into our own new rhythms, and I am reminded again of just how flexible people, especially little people, can be in the face of change. It's encouraging considering the panic I felt when I realized we'd be all sharing the floor of one bedroom for four weeks and we would be putting kiddos to bed in broad daylight, amid the dinner conversations of fifteen other people wafting in through paper-thin walls at the SAME TIME in the SAME ROOM. All of this new to them. And I'd be lying if I said it didn't melt into pandemonium the first couple of days. "Sleep", like "nighttime", was a very fluid concept around here for a stint. But adapt they have and we have really enjoyed listening through those paper-thin walls as two little siblings talk one another to sleep each night.
This weekend the family tagged along on a lake sampling trip to Vikingvatn, the Viking Lake. The drive took us through winding cliffs along the bay of Skjálfandi. We pulled off at an unassuming spot, braced ourselves against the penetrating northern wind and peeked down on a large puffin colony nestled in the cliff walls below us. I was embarassingly giddy. They were just so RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF US! After months of talking and reading about them it was positively thrilling to see the little sad clown faces so close, their comical roly poly little bodies almost crash landing into the waters below. For a moment, I held Kyra close and pointed to the islands on the horizon. "It's 4 degrees in July," I whispered into her ear, "and there is the arctic circle. We are standing on the edge of the world." Fascination succumbed to numbness and the anxiety of having small children perched near the edge of a 300-foot cliff. We reluctantly tore ourselves away and held an impromptu picnic inside the car before heading down the cliffs to the field site (in search of midge larvae - more on that in a future post).
We closed the week last week with a road trip to Akureyri, Iceland's second largest city and the northern regional center, to catch some local music. And by local, I mean Icelandic musicians and some guy from East Lansing, MI playing polish wedding music sung in Icelandic. Varsjárbandalagið ("Warsaw Pact") were a terrific and quirky cast of characters that reinterpreted classic Icelandic folk music with klezmer and Balkan influences. They reminded me a lot of Madison's own Reptile Palace Orchestra and I know Reptile had an Icelandic drummer once upon a time and wouldn't you know it the bands knew each other and we all had friends in common. Small world, indeed.
Until next time,