Sometimes it’s the little things that grab your attention.
There are the famous museums and the great monuments. Every city, town, and country road has its own uniqueness, its glamor both great and small. Sometimes those small bits of glamor capture your senses, and come to define a place in your mind long after you have left. When I went to Iceland I found such a moment – not in the vast verdant wilderness of the country, but behind a gas station in the middle of the city.
I passed by this gas station every evening on my way back to where I was staying. Behind the gas station and convenience store was a little garden. Beyond that, a walking trail led around a lake (or perhaps an inlet of the bay.) I never explored the extent of the trail, or even the depths of the garden, because I only ever came to this place in darkness or at sunset.
The statue of the boy in the garden was a dark silhouette against the sunset. I couldn’t read the Icelandic plaque, even if there had been enough light. I wondered how many lives passed through this garden every day – jogging on the trail along the water’s edge, or enjoying a snack from the gas station. I wondered whose life had inspired the statue.
Here, at this serene spot of glamor in the middle of a city, I found a sight that captured my mind. I had many wonderful experiences in Iceland, and I look forward to going there again for more. But this little stone boy at sunset will always be Iceland to me.