Summer has arrived and we’re hoping for sunny days and long bright nights.
April 23 was the First Day of Summer in Iceland, a public holiday that celebrates the end of another long winter. It was a Thursday and on the following day, many people, including myself, took the day off to have a long weekend.
The first weekend of summer was not the warm and balmy 25°C (77°F) that my sister enjoyed on April 23 in the small Italian town where she was staying.
Here, it was cold but sunny, which was a good enough reason to go for a run but it was not the most enjoyable run I’ve had.
However, the weekend wasn’t all bad. The weather stayed cold but not until yesterday did the wind pick up, making it awfully cold and unpleasant.
I took long walks with my wonderful dog Emma; she played with her four-legged friends and swam in the freezing Atlantic Ocean. We enjoyed our time together, as we always do, and especially when we caught sight of the sun again.
I felt so rejuvenated that I finally got to the big tasks that I’d been meaning to get done in the first quarter of the year. It was a great relief and a good start to the summer.
Even though it’s still cold, there’s lightness in the air. The sun is out and the days are longer. There’s an air of excitement and anticipation for something better than the short days of winter with their howling wind and long dark nights.
Whatever the summer will bring, it’s safe to say it will bring brightness. The dark nights will be replaced by bright nights and freezing temperatures by a little more warmth and even lovely warm days in some parts of the country.
Here in Reykjavík, the dream of a beautiful summer is not always fulfilled. More often than not a warm day is spoiled by a cool wind.
To wear a skirt that is not tight fitting is a potential risk of over-exposure, and by the end of the day, bare legs are a bad idea.
After the winter we’ve had, most of us are relieved to see the sun and appreciate the warm rays that she brings into our lives.
While hoping for more, we worry a little that this summer will be yet another rainy one, without lush days and skies filled with the sun’s warm rays.
Living on an island where extremes in weather are only to be expected, the ambiguity of summer puzzles us. We dare not expect that perfect sunny day without anticipating a bit of wind to drive down the temperatures.
A colleague of mine suggested the other day that in order to really enjoy summer, we should be using our holiday sporadically. For example, if we wake up to a beautiful warm and sunny day with almost no wind, we should take that day off and enjoy the rare treat.
I agree. Good weather is not guaranteed in Iceland in summer, and in fact, the forecast for this summer is far from good.
So, what do we do? Well, those who can book a week or two in a resort in Spain or Turkey with a travel agency, or, as I would, organized a holiday myself in a country I’ve always wanted to visit.
For others, booking a holiday in the fall or winter is the perfect plan. In case the summer is lovely, they won’t miss it. And in case it’s bad, there’s always that holiday in the fall or winter to look forward to.
Whatever happens this summer, I wish upon a wish that I’ll be able to enjoy a good long run without feeling cold on a rainy day and to feel the sun on my bare legs and arms every now and then.
For now, I keep hoping.
Júlíana Björnsdóttir – julianabjornsdottir(at)gmail.com