3 AM

November 01, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Just below the arctic circle where the sun stays up all night, I too was in the midst of a sleepless night.  The brand new hotel we were in smelled weird, the beds stiff and the thousands of flies outside kept us from opening the window to let in some cool air.  I'd even skipped our nightly tradition of enjoying a drink on whatever patio we could find because the bugs wouldn't leave me alone. It  certainly wasn't the finest evening of our trip.

Sometime around 3 am, after a few hours of tossing and turning, something must have spoke to all three of us.  Mikey woke up, and when Mikey woke up I decided to get out of bed to look out the window and see what was happening in the stark landscape outside.  Unbeknownst to me, my Dad in his own room had woken up as well, and was currently videotaping out his window.  When I pulled back the curtains, I was flabbergasted.  The sky was lit up in a near neon array of pink and orange and golden hues. I had the sense of mind to call Mikey to the window, and by the time he saw why and asked "Are you going now?" I already had a pair of soggy shoes on my feet. 

Used to the quick sunrises in Canada, I grabbed my camera with the telephoto lens still attached to it  from the day before and sprinted out the door. I didn't think to grab anything else.  I ran past the confused looking desk attendant, out the door and then ran away from the parking lot towards the lake across the highway.  I stopped short when I reached the electric fence.  It was meant to keep in the sheep, but it did a fine job of keeping me close to the hotel. I knew the sun rose in Iceland, I just didn't expect to see one for myself at that time of year, and I didn't expect that it would be electrifying in so many different ways.

Not wanting to waste any time finding the end of the fence, I began frantically looking for a composition, no easy feat with the long lens and lack of tripod. I wasn't having much success, and the adrenaline and sleep deprivation clouding my brain were not much help either.  

Outtake from Lake MyvatnOuttake from Lake Myvatn

I crawled. I slithered. I ate a bit of fine Icelandic dirt. I bum scooted.  My pajamas coated with a layer of dust and probably more than a few smears of sheep manure and I found what I was looking for.  

Unlike the sunrises I was used to seeing, the sunrise that morning lasted longer than I did.  Exhausted, I went back to the hotel and crawled into bed and the sun didn't sleep, and neither did I, but I was smiling.


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