Thanks for following along with me on my travels in Iceland. While I expected I would love this country I never expected it would resonate so deeply with me.
I quite truthfully hate to leave.
Everything suited me. The long, long days of sunlight (although, I admit, the winter would be more challenging). The wildness of the place. The friendliness of the people. The relaxed attitude with which people here approach life. The delightful temperatures that ranged in the sunlit days from the 60s on down to the chilly 30s.
Even the weather. When sunshine slipped through it was glorious. The waters shone aquamarine and the mountains were nearly luminous. The very air glowed. When it was cloudy or misty or even rainy, it transformed the landscape and added a depth to the island.
Iceland is a hard place to leave.
So, I will do it in typical Icelandic style. Everywhere throughout the country are large piles of rock. Some are of nature, while many are piles placed there by travelers as they pass.
The custom is for wayfarers to add another stone to these cairns, or even simply place a hand on one of the rocks. They must then take a deep breath, close their eyes and think of all the good things that have befallen them in life. The rocks will absorb all their worries and negative thoughts.
As they release their cares into the stone, they recite these lines:
“Yes, it is a long and difficult road
and life is brief and much will go astray.
But graceful through temptation and hardship’s load
your goal will always shine and bide your stay.”