Remembering Iceland

In May of 2016 Vox Peregrini returned to pilgrimage. A small group walked Thorsmork, the Valley of Thor, in Iceland. Our home was Eyjafjallajökull, the volcano and glacier whose famous 2010 eruption created large-scale air travel disruption across the Atlantic Ocean. From our base camp in the valley, the pilgrims traversed across rivers, peaks, obsidian beds, and grassy ridges.

Song was our constant companion. On our final night in Thorsmork we offered a concert to another, larger group of hikers. Fellow pilgrims who returned the gift of song by teaching us to cook Icelandic lamb outside, building a bonfire, and sharing libations.

Vox was fed by wilderness, companionship, and song.

People need wild places.  Whether or not we think we do, we do.  We need to be able to taste grace and know again that we desire it.  We need to experience a landscape that is timeless, whose agenda moves at the pace of speciation and glaciers.  To be surrounded by a singing, mating, howling commotion of other species, all of which love their lives as much as we do ours, and none of which could possibly care less about us in our place.  It reminds us that our plans are small and somewhat absurd.        BARBARA KINGSOLVER, Small Wonder