There’s something magical about this time of year, when the seasons change, but while mourning the rapidly disappearing daylight and end of summer, it often passes us by.
Children, however, eager to discover the world around them, don’t fail to notice the change in the seasons.
My three-year-old nephew is fascinated by the red and yellow leaves on the trees and bright red rowanberries—fuglaber (‘bird berries’), according to him—picking them up from the ground and making ornaments, as he was taught in kindergarten.
The dark evenings are an object of his fascination too. I walked him home one evening after spending some quality time with him at my house and as darkness had fallen he borrowed my bicycle light, which he wore on his head.
I don’t think the short walk has ever taken as long because he was so busy lighting up the dark around him, taking in the scenery, so different from what he was used to.
He was also very excited about the reflectors on his new winter boots and how they glowed when the light fell upon them in the dark.
However, the darkness was not his friend early one morning after he had spent the night at my house and I told him it was time to wake up and go to kindergarten.
He was lying all cuddly beside me, sleeping soundly—I not so much as he had just punched me in the eye in his sleep—when the alarm went off.
He didn’t even notice and after I informed him gently that morning had arrived he was not convinced. “But it’s still dark outside!” he moaned.
Dawn soon had him convinced, though, and he was quick to recover his good mood, ready for a new exciting day of discoveries.
I admit, waking up in the dark can be challenging and it’s tempting to turn off the alarm and keep on snoozing under the warm covers.
But as much as I love the brightest time of year, the dark season also has something magical about it.
Hauling myself out of bed the other morning and taking a shower while the outside world was quiet and dark, gave me a special tingling sensation.
I refuse to even think about the holidays before Advent but there was unmistakably some kind of anticipation in the air.
I had to walk to work that day because my bike was at the repair shop. Annoyed as I was at first, as walking would inevitably take longer than cycling, when I left the house at daybreak my irritation quickly turned to delight.
It was another beautiful autumn day, the kind I had been hoping for once it became clear that there would be no end to the rainy summer.
The air was cool and clear. It was absolutely still and the remaining foliage gleamed in the rising sun, which also painted the sky golden. I took my time and thoroughly enjoyed the walk. I wasn’t really in any hurry.
So far this autumn, most days have been bright and beautiful and fairly warm, obstructed only by one day of snowfall—the snow made my nephew very happy; he was smiling from ear to ear on the picture my sister-in-law took on their way to kindergarten.
According to the forecast, the weather will remain calm and sunny this weekend, which is perfect, because I’m planning a romantic getaway with my husband.
We should make the most of the autumn sun we’ve been graced with after the seemingly endless summer rain. The season is usually short in Iceland and winter may strike any time.
Come winter, we should embrace it too, and observe the magic of the seasonal change with the fresh and curious eyes of children, who never fail to see the light in the dark.
Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir – firstname.lastname@example.org