At Peace Under the Breadth and Beauty of the Icelandic Sky

Iceland at Sunrise (Pixabay/Nathan618)

It is impossible to ignore. There is so much of it. Unobstructed. Always changing. The sheltering sky. The angry sky. The welcoming sky.

The Icelandic sky.

Hovering over me, it reminds me of my smallness. Encourages me to consider my stewardship in the world. Urges me to be observant. Respectful.

When it is plump with rain or snow, tinged aluminum grey, Iceland’s sky is magnificent. Marveling at the chaotic cloud formations above me, I wonder what the island looks like from that height, that angle. From behind that dark cloak. And so I wait, patiently, for the clouds to part, the sun to break through, and reveal the hidden treasure of a dazzling blue swath of Arctic ceiling.

Later, when the hushed Icelandic night falls, another spectacle awaits me. The time varies. Those who cannot wait, go to bed and place a wakeup call with the hotel’s front desk. But my husband and I sit patiently by the lobby fire, sipping our wine. Waiting.

Soon, the news spreads through the air. “They are here. Outside the hotel.”

Grabbing our coats, we rush outdoors. Like children seeing their first fireworks display, we look skyward and see the tremulous streams of green light. Silently, we gaze at them in reverent wonder.

Iceland’s Northern Lights (pixabay)

Wanting more, we set off in our rental car, chasing the pulsating colors. We drive into the darkness, away from the lights of Reykjavik convinced that is where we will get a better view. Finding a small dirt road, we park the car and stand beneath the night sky, looking for the ethereal lights.

We have miscalculated. The elusive lights are gone.

Yet I am not disappointed. As I stand in the startling silence and stare into the vast sky, I fill my lungs with Iceland’s pure crisp air. I am satisfied. Grateful to have shared the chase with my husband. Mindful, that the most beautiful things in life are fleeting.

Best experienced in the utter stillness of the moment.

Icelandic sky (Pixabay/Lucasbieri)