reflections on nature

Victoria, BC, 5pm on Wednesday June 15th

(that’s yesterday)

I am jet lagged all to hell. First we went two (one?) hours back, from Denmark to Iceland. Then we (I) realized that it just wasn’t going to get dark in Reykjavik at all; it’s close to summer solstice, and we were after all in the land of the midnight sun.

Then we flew from Iceland back five hours to Boston, from whence to Providence by bus in the evening. One full day and two nights at home, and off to Seattle – another three hours back.

So, all in all, nine time zones broken up over several days. My body has stopped trying to figure out what time it is and sort of floats through time and space, alternating between running on fumes, perking right up at random intervals, and threatening to shut down completely with distressing frequency.

In the course of all these travels, nature has been gloriously varied.

Denmark is lush and green, punctuated by vast fields of blinding yellow rape plants, purple and pink and white flowers by random bodies of water, and sky-high sky. Sometimes it’s grey, other times pale blue and whispy white, but it’s always high up above you. Denmark has space and rolling shallow hills and wide wide bike lanes, as wide as for cars! It rained more than I would’ve liked, but such is spring in that part of the world.

Iceland is… like nothing I’ve ever seen. Its volcanic soil clumps up softly. Get out of Reykjavik, and all you see is this clumpy fuzzy rug and a few long narrow highways. Misty geyser steam in the distance, and mountains, volcanoes. SUVs everywhere, but they’re actually useful there, necessary even. Reykjavik is a mish-mash of funky architectural styles, some older, some with a decidedly modern aesthetic, none of them simple copies of mainland-European styles. Public art in the form of swoopy steel statues, as well as courageous men (on horseback or not), proudly green with bronze oxidation.

Boston, oof. Coming back to Boston was like getting into a steam bath against your will and clothed, and not being allowed to come back out. Muggy, oppressive. We spent half an hour or so waiting for the bus underneath a raised road, concrete all around us, beyond it grey pillows of sky so close you almost think you can touch them. Thank the technology gods for air conditioning at home and at work!

Seattle greeted us with mild-mannered evening sun, and for the rest of the evening proceeded to live up to its perpetual “60s, partly cloudy, chance of rain” weather forcast. This morning the sun didn’t wake and show his face until I was on the ferry to

Victoria, which is surprisingly like Denmark in its lush greenness. But it’s also sunny and mild, gorgeous in its pacific-northwest way. The bay where our ferry arrived turned out to be located near beautiful museum buildings and downtown. Lovely walk into town, a bit of shopping, some free wireless net time at the coffee shop where I had lunch but not coffee (see jet lag above), uneventful bus ride to the UVic campus, which is hyoooge and has many,

many

bunnies. ALL OVER. *dies of cute*

(The morning session is about to start. Hooray! I always get so… giddy at ACH/ALLC conferences. Skipped almost all the way to the room.)

3 Responses to “reflections on nature”

  1. sean stevens Says:

    Glad to have you back in the country :)

    I hope you survive the cute bunnies to make it back to this coast!

  2. Gene Zafrin Says:

    Hey, we are on the same continent again! We should catch up within the same time zone at some point!

  3. Storme Says:

    I’ve not actually had a chance to speak to you recently, but we were in Iceland at about the same time as you. It’s an awesome place.


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