• Allison

In June

Majestic mountains reaching into endless blue skies, gently caressing ethereal clouds that hung low from the heavens. Silken, turquoise seas in the foreground, flowing insistently until they gave way to miles upon miles of greenery and igneous rocks.

In the bus, a reverent hush.

And I, in love before we had even reached town.

It boggled the city-addled mind, how close downtown was to nature. In moments, one could go from weaving in and out of souvenir stores and bistros, shopping bags filled with lava salt and chocolate bars; to gazing at endless sea and snow-capped volcanoes, eyes desperately seeking out the nearby Videy as sudden rain pelted the face and shoulders.

You get the sense that there was utmost respect for what came before us, a desire to coalesce instead of coerce. I found myself treading the ground with a tenderness of which I wasn’t aware I was capable, determined I would leave nothing but my heart; take nothing but photographs. I was as much a ghost as I could be. And for my brief penance to this world, I was granted a moment’s silence. Alone in Hallgrímskirkja, listening to an organist play beautiful hymns from a religion that wasn’t mine, I felt my mind finally fall quiet. For the first time in years, there was no fear, no worry, no desire — only peace. And I could have spent a lifetime sitting on that pew.