This post was sparked by todays WordPress Daily Prompt, “Blogger in a Strange Land,” which asked, “What is the strangest place from which you’ve posted to your blog?” My answer was easy: the dining room of the Skalholt Retreat House in Iceland, where Mary and I and a small group of storytellers spent an amazing week just over a year ago.
If you search here on “Iceland,” you’ll find an account of the trip, photos, and a detailed discussion of Njal’s Saga, which was central to our purpose in traveling. This post concerns the dining room.
Those are real grapevines and bougainvilleas twining through the rafters under the skylight. Through the windows you see the autumn colors of a hedge and beyond that, fog. It was late morning when this picture was taken, probably 40 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Imagine how inviting it was to sit with a cup of coffee and write in this bright room where it was warm enough for grapes, and flower petals sometimes drifted onto the table.
“Strange” can happen anywhere, but it’s always by one’s side when traveling. When we leave our familiar contexts behind, there’s a chance to peek around corners and see things that day-to-day vision too often misses.
“Fare forward, travelers! not escaping from the past
Into different lives, or into any future;
You are not the same people who left that station
Or who will arrive at any terminus” – T.S. Eliot