I carefully negotiate the gravel road, watching for large holes that could swallow my rented compact car. Thanks to the recent rains the dust is under control, but small rivulets meander across the road bed.
A small bridge offers a short but smooth respite. With no visible traffic ahead or behind, I pause in the middle of the bridge. Looking over the rail my eyes are treated to a gorgeous view – a crystal clear river spilling over a rocky landscape. An indigo swath of lupine flowers dominates each side of the stream bed.
Such a scene leaves me no choice. I must enter this landscape with my camera.
Pulling off the bridge and onto the shoulder, I take a long look at Megan sprawled across the back seat. She has accomplished a lot today – an early flight to Iceland, steep hikes at Thingvillir National Park and the Gulfoss waterfall, and an educational walk to see Geysir. She has earned that nap, and I let her bask in her glory.
I add another layer under my coat, hoping the dry fabric will pull some of the moisture away from the 3 layers I am already wearing. It’s a nice thought, but it doesn’t matter – in 10 minutes I’ll be immersed in stunning scenery ignoring 10 pounds of water hiding in 4 wet shirts.
As I approach the river my eyes are drawn to expansive drifts of dark blue. Lupines are cheerful flowers, stalks of blue and white extending above lush green foliage. Collecting in large masses, they hypnotically sway in unison with every gust of wind. Here they line the river banks, water and wind moving together.
Looking beyond the river I spy a charming red cottage surrounded by Birch trees and a rolling field. Four strong horses quietly graze, shrugging off the cold rain that has given me fits all day. I find a surprising relaxation watching them slowly eat their way across the field.
A gust of wind announces the return of the rain. Snapping out of my reverie I return to the car, closing the door just as the deluge begins. Megan snores in the back seat, confirming her slumber continues. The day now complete, I navigate my warm, dry car to our quarters at the bottom of the mountain.
I took this trip last summer, enjoying 10 days of quality time with my rapidly growing daughter. It was fun watching her fall in love with this part of the world, a place that I once called home (and always will). A year later, she still uses the Finnish words that she learned, and asks when we can return. When she gets a little older I might share with her that I return every day.
Father’s Day is fast approaching. I hope that you enjoy it thinking about your children and making special memories together.
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