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Roundup of Horses (Out of Focus) (VH)

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Vala Hafstað's picture

Helga Stefánsdóttir.

Photo: Helga Stefánsdóttir

I recently attended the roundup of horses in Skagafjörður, North Iceland. Not because I’m interested in horses. Far from it. I’ve hardly ever ridden a horse. No, this was simply a chance to enjoy the company of two of my cousins who invited me along. We enjoyed the four-hour car ride from Reykjavík, filled with recollections from our past.

Only one of them was planning to participate in the roundup by riding into the mountains the next day. The other one was going to give the family a dinner party and I was to help her. We arrived late at night and enjoyed a good night’s sleep.

Helga Stefánsdóttir.

Photo: Helga Stefánsdóttir

The next morning, the adventurous cousin rode off at 5:00 am, but I stayed behind with her sister and spent the day cooking. Late in the afternoon, it was time to go to the paddock and watch the herd of horses arrive.

While we were waiting, a foal, lying by the paddock, caught my eye. I watched it with admiration and was about to point it out to my cousin when the foal arose and I realized to my surprise that it was a dog.

Photo: Helga Stefánsdóttir

This reminded me of a road trip I took with my parents when I was little. We were on our way to Skagafjörður when, suddenly, a black cat crossed the road. “Look at the black cat!” my mother exclaimed. A few minutes went by and then a black sheep crossed the road, followed by her two black lambs. My mother shouted in surprise, “How amazing to see all these black cats crossing the road!”

The foal also reminded me of a female relative, who around her 80th birthday had a serious car accident in which she broke almost every bone in her body. Several months later, she was running up steep stairs and driving a car. She did, however, confess to me at the time that her vision was double since the accident. “How, then, can you drive?” I asked. “That’s easy,” she answered. “When I see two cars approaching ahead, I simply drive right between them.”

Helga Stefánsdóttir.

Photo: Helga Stefánsdóttir

Those were the things I thought of while waiting for the horses to arrive. When they finally did, I watched them—albeit out of focus—and it was a mighty sight.

Once back in town, I made an appointment with the eye doctor. Still, I might just cancel. Life is more humorous with its misunderstandings. I fear a new pair of glasses could hurt my imagination—for good.

Vala Hafstad—vala(at)icelandreview.com

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.