8 hours ago
You know that floating feeling when you are standing too close to an edge? I love that feeling. It is an assurance in my own footing, grounded in the earth. I am present and able to control my body. (To be clear I do not like that feeling when I am driving in a vehicle.) My partner strongly dislikes that feeling. Bridges, glass walkways, balconies...I have seen him physically crawl across them.
When visiting Vatnajökull, roles were reversed. Suddenly I was the one crawling. He, on the other hand, was hopping along. He quickly surpassed me and said he would be back once he was satisfied with the photos he captured. Eventually, I pulled up a rock and sat. Seeing the deep carved rock below me, the lake that had formed due to the glacial run-off, the depth of each crevasse...I was overwhelmed. I was actually scared to continue on. I checked my watch and remember timing how long he had been gone, as warning signs of dangerous rock falls had stated hikers had been lost before. We are cautious travelers, we follow warnings and respect our surroundings, but despite being on a path that was well traveled, I felt unsteady.
We read about glaciers, you hear on the news about how they are retreating, how they can change the water levels of the entire Earth, but I truly believe you don't grasp the enormity of the situation until you are standing in front of one. It is impossible to capture the scale of them. These formations demand reverence. It begs to question, if we put every non-recycling, plastic abusing, ocean polluting, litterbug in front of a glacier...would they change their habits? Would they feel the pull of these formations?
He eventually safely returned having taken this photograph. It is one of my favorite captured from this visit. The new life the glacier has carved out shadowed by the herculean ice formation. A reminder that these glaciers have provided the fertile soils our food grows on, the water we drink, and impacted the atmosphere we breathe. at Vatnajökull Glacier