Kolur was manoeuvring his horse between the irregular landscape. The air was filled with heavy clouds, as the mist glistened between the wet grass. The tall mountain in front of him was breathing with life, in its own marmoreal way. The moss creeped up the black rocks, which were eroded by the yearly ice, melting down from the winter snow in broad trenches. Little waterfalls clattered on the moss. Kolur looked up at the birds, flying through the mist around the peaks, croaking their songs through the air. He felt the wetness from the mist, raining down on his face in miniscul droplets. So small, they had a snoftness in them.
Dama, his horse, effortlesly made her way over the rocky ground, avoiding the hidden gaps under the moss with an instinct specific to her kind. Her dark brown skin was wet with silvery droplets and the end of her long wavy tail was dripping mud, her breath damping in the air. Dama was born for these conditions.
Kolur’s heart was pounding in his chest, not only because of the excersise, but mostly because he was getting close to his destination. The past months, he had been living with his cousin and his wife in her home village on an island not far from the mainland. They married 5 months ago, when winter faded into spring. Now they were building a house on land which was assigned to them as a present from the village counsel.
Just as he was finishing the last details on the outside wall of the second floor of the barn adjacant to the house, Kolur heared a scream. The news came in the form of his cousin’s wife, running towards them in the evening light, her hand holding her still barely visible pregnant belly. Her words made him startle, dropping his wet painting brush on his cousins head, who was standing underneath him. They could barely stop him from leaving before dawn, for no fisherman sailed before the first light.
When the ship arrived on the mainland, the son of the owner of the harbour inn, rushed towards him, a dark brown horse following in his wake. “The news must have reached them already.” Kolur thought as the boy handed him the reins. “Thank your father from me.” Kolur said to him. Normally he would do so himself, the man had taken care of Dama for several months. This time, however, Kolur mounted his horse immediately. “To home.” He whispered in her ear, before he let her run towards the mountains.
Now they were following the river, as Kolur peered through the mist, finding the best spot to cross. Where the river was running slow and wide, he let Dama find her way through the water, before they headed for the last few kilometres.
Dama appeared to be relieved when they entered the village, for she was tired from the restless trip. Kolur however, didn’t take the usual turn to the stables, but made her run directly into the village heart.
There he saw her immediately, as he entered the square. Niana was talking to her mother, lady Ana, while they were leaving the main building together. Her white blonde hair had grown longer and she appeared to have more freckles than 3 summers ago. Her bare arms now showed the circular tattoos, running like snakes from her shoulders down to her finger tips, marking the completion of her training. Almost 4 years ago, during the darkest hour of the darkest winter day, she had left the village to pursue the fulfilment of her journey as a student of the earthly mother at the hidden sanctuary of Maa, which lied somewhere deep inland.
But when they locked eyes, the past years disappeared in an instant, for the smile Niana gave to Kolur, was one of unconditional love.
I got the inspiration while horseback riding in Dýrafjörður in the Westfjords of Iceland. Read the story here.