The Beauty of Change and Adaptability

Posted on January 22nd, 2020 by

Thanks Corbyn!

Today was full of options, changes, and wet bus seats.

We knew it was going to rain today, so our plans for Day 12 were decidedly undecided as of last night. This morning, a soft rain greeted us as we walked to breakfast. The rain seemed like an indicator for no hiking this morning, but a few minutes later we were geared up. We went to the Nyheimar Museum in Höfn first to examine an exhibit on landscapes by Lilia Johannasdòttie, an Ornithologist who received grant money to follow birds migrating to wetlands and take photographs of the landscapes with a drone. She didn’t expect them to be artistic, but that’s how they turned out. Sometimes the unexpected turns out to be beautiful. Her purely scientific research changed into a science-based artistic exhibit, and we see this mixture of science and art more and more with the portrayal of climate change.


The second chance to adapt appeared when the junction to the glacier was iced over. It was unsafe to drive on, so we went a different route for the hike. Stomping through the mud covered in small rocks, we strained to hear Jeff through the intermittent gales as he discussed the carvings on a rock caused by the glacier pulling it back and forth on the earth’s floor.
Every once in awhile, the wind and rain would stop and it would be completely still.
The abrupt fluctuations in rain and wind made the hike otherworldly.
The glistening rocks, the electric blue of the glacier, the mist dancing on the mountains… it was a breathtaking sight. We didn’t originally plan on hiking in the rain, but the weather changed and we adapted. Did the rain make me feel slightly damp, and therefore uncomfortable when sitting on the bus? Oh yes. Did the experience of the rainy hike itself make up for that? Definitely.

Creds to Corbyn 🙂

These reminded me of M. Jackson’s perspective on change within The Secret Lives of Glaciers. She states that every change comes with good and bad impacts: the glaciers melting means the Icelandic locals won’t fear an eventual destruction of their farm due to floods, yet a piece of important Icelandic culture will be gone forever. The rain may melt the glaciers (if there’s no dirt on it), yet it makes them – and the landscape that surrounds them – look so much more beautiful in the moment. We didn’t plan on hiking the path we followed, but wasn’t it beautiful? M. Jackson emphasizes the importance of change being perceived for its positive and negative impacts rather than explicitly one or the other. She may have been directing this message to the perception of glaciers melting, but I also think she meant it in general. Life is full of changes – most of them unexpected – and it’s important for us to see these changes from all angles rather than from our biased perspectives.



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