Fading from View

At Vatnajökull

At Vatnajökull

I have been back in Southern California for three weeks, and only now am I no longer dreaming about Iceland. It is time to get on with the rest of my life. From time to time, I will return with a post about Iceland, but it is no longer occupying the front and center position of my life. (Of course, I would dearly love to return and spend some more time in the Northeast of the island.)

In the above photo, I am standing at the tongue of Heinabergsjökull, one of the extensions of the gigantic Vatnajökull icecap, the third largest in the world after Antarctica and Greenland.

At the same time that Iceland is starting to fade from view, so is Vatnajökull itself. Over the last eighty years, the glacier has pulled back from the edge of the sea for several miles and shows signs of a further retreat. In the 1930s, if I were standing in the same position, there would be perhaps a hundred meters of ice below me (or above me).

What I hope will never fade from view are my memories: Iceland occupies a special place in my heart—along with Patagonia, the American Southwest, Yucatán, and the islands off the coast of Scotland. Visiting those places has, to a large extent, made me the person I am today. I went from being a little kid whose family was too poor to take him anywhere to a grown-up who has developed an insatiable itch for travel.

Who knows what the next few years will bring? My gaze is still skipping around the globe, looking for places that might interest me. And I hope that Martine can accompany me, because her presence and her sense of wonder make everything better.