This time of year is a quiet one. Even the wind is quiet on the crispiest and calmest of days. When the air is so crisp that the rouge is painted on your cheeks in all its dotted irregularity, even the silent symphony of wind and breeze quiets down to listen to the invisible song of silence in the air.
Silence is broken only by the wave as it gently strokes the frozen particles of sand on which the layer of snow is almost immediately drowned in cold seawater from the grand Atlantic Ocean; or by the cracks in the hard snow when fresh feet build new pathways on the thick layer of snow.
One of the best times to be out and about on such days is late morning, that time when most of us are too busy at work to experience the magic that is in the air.
For the runner, whose spirit is often defeated by cold and wind in these long winter months, days like these are an occasion to run gently on the slippery frozen layers of snow, with clear skies and a glittering sea to cautiously admire.
For the dog person, this is the day your dog will do little else than ask you to go out for long walks. To a dog, the crisp air is refreshing and the snow replaces the sea to dive into, at least while the real seawater is too cold for swimming.
Even for the most hopeless of tropically acclimatized residents, days like these simply demand an outing. A mere sniff of the air’s freshness is enough to feel alive and strong, like that first sip of cold spring water after a long hike or run.
Life always seems to slow down in February. It’s as if time moves a little slower (almost as slow as in January when you actually want time to move a little faster), dragging out the dramatic contrast of nature in the month when daylight begins to meet winter’s finest exhibition.
In my mind, there is no month like February. As much as I dislike the cold and as much as I long for summer, February is the month when I take the time to enjoy winter. There is magic in the air.
The colors of nature are too intense not to notice, the gulp of cold air in the morning a sweet kind of cool, and the stars seem countless in the night sky; the orange in the winter sun is reflected on the glittery surface of the sea, building an imaginary bridge into the horizon.
It’s as if February arrives to take away the January blues and awaken our spirits by demonstrating to us how beautiful this world is when we take the time to enjoy it. For a little while, we get to live inside a painting that continues to amaze us each and every day.
So I say to you, dear reader, if you are contemplating that trip to Iceland, make it February. Of course, I cannot make any promises myself that each and every day is going to be a day inside a magnificent landscape painting.
But there is something very special in the air at this time of year. Maybe it’s the combination of bright days and wintery conditions, or how winter dresses the strange landscape in an array of white, emphasizing the snowless patches of old lava rock or other natural formation.
It so happens that almost all my favorite people in this world, all but a few of my closest family members, have their birthday this month, so there is reason for celebration.
I welcome this month into my life once more with an inviting smile and look forward to living in a painting for a month or so.
Júlíana Björnsdóttir – [email protected]