Friday, July 21, 2017
I watched the white-capped waves play tag with the twirling patches of misty grey fog hovering over the formidable northern fjord. I stood on the edge of the lava cliff and felt the grounds tremble and heard the powerful ocean crashing and rumbling up the gorge. Swooshing, sucking sounds came from deep within the cave the ocean waves had carved eons past.
Scrambling down a gravelly crevasse I dug in my heels, and my fingers gripped the gritty, sharp lava ledges. The racket of rolling stones alarmed the nesting puffins, warily they pointed towards me with their red, yellow and black striped huge beaks, then shook their short wings and waddled off on their fiery-red feet.
I touched a moss-lined seagull's nest, which promptly came alive with stretching and twitching, hungry mouths wide open. I jerked my hand back as the angry mama bird streaked down like a meteorite, yellow beak wide open, fiercely screeching. Carefully avoiding white streaks of yucky bird droppings, I inched my way to the bottom of the cliff and started walking on the narrow strip of volcanic sand. My sheepskin shoes made squishy, slushy sounds as small waves wet my feet. Gross smell arose when I kicked away slimy brown algae and tip-toed around carcass of birds, crabs, brittle fish bones and blue seashells.
I leaned on the half-buried relic of a rowboat and pulled at the coarse brown fishnet that hung over the rotted bulwark, disturbing five napping Harbors seals. They looked at me for a moment,t hey moaned, groaned, grumbled then closed their eyes. Tugging the yellow seaman's rain-hat tight over my hair I tried to avoid "calling" cards (bird droppings). as a gazillion seagulls swept overhead.
The wispy shreds of fog across the water were slowly dissipating in the sun. Brilliant colored rainbow curved over a tall waterfall cascading down the snow-capped craggy mountain sheltering the fjord.
I climbed to my favorite place, the top of a barnacle-crusted lava rock accessible on one side in the out-going tide. Waves caused spray to slosh on my face, and when I licked my lips I tasted brine
A fog-shrouded steamship made its way across the mouth of the fjord, and the warning blast of the ship's horn boomed between the basalt-black towering cliffs. Powerful spouts from Humpback whales dotted the sea, they slapped their long flippers roiling the waters.
Gray seals, also called Horse Head Seals shot up by my rock and grabbed small squirming fish from the beaks of diving gulls. The seals' backs glistened and shone like well-polished whale bone as they leaped up and then dove back into the waves.
A virtual blizzard of sea gulls and puffins floated below the fluffy clouds in the blue sky above my head as I climbed up the bird-filled lava cliff and headed back home.
Ieda Jónasdóttir Herman is an author and motivational speaker based out of Illinois. At the age of 88, she wrote and published her first book, a memoir of growing up in Iceland. She has since published two fiction works for children. Following a stroke in 2016, she had dedicated her time to education of stroke awareness and encouraging seniors to become more active in life.