The Iceland Diaries, Part Three
My companions decided it was time to go to their accommodations, a place about ten miles down the road. Imba and I led them there, to what turned out to be a little cottage off by itself in the tundra. We left them there and headed back to Frodastadir. The valley was so familiar, Imba and I talked about the times we would ride out to meet her friends for a Sunday ride, or sometimes we’d race our horses along the river, which usually turned my blood to ice. Once, I just deliberately fell off Blessa as she was going way too fast for me and I was hanging onto her mane as hard as I could but was slipping anyway. I didn’t quite know what else to do. The Icelandic earth is soft and the ponies were low to the ground so I just eased myself off and rolled, walking home a bit sheepishly. “But Bless was winning!” Imba said, clearly, even all these years later, confused as to why I had chosen to do that.
Another time, riding on the road, an enormous Mercedes truck came barreling at us. Blessa reared up and tossed me into the gutter and ran home. Another sheepish walk back to the farm. Imba remembered it all as well.
As we drove, she slowed and pointed to farms that I had known or visited. They looked remarkably the same, though some had a new house near the old one, like Imba’s. At Hvammur, she slowed, “Do you want to go in?” This was the first farm we had gone to, looking for work. I had hitchhiked out there with Jane. For me, it was a very special place. It was, in a sense, where it all began. I knew that Gudlaugur had passed away and wasn’t sure that any of the children would remember me. They were very young then and many years had passed. With a bit of hesitation, I said, “Yes, yes, let’s go in.”
To be continued…