I don’t generally recognize heroes in my day to day life. This time in the Faroes has not been day to day life by any means, so I’ve recognized a few heroes who have crossed paths with me, and with Beth and me.
The young man, a construction apprentice, who when asked by Beth for help when I had high-centered our rent car, walked with her to our car and immediately called the police. He assured us there had not been a violation.
The man in the parking lot where I fell, who upon seeing me on the ground, jumped out of his car and helped me to stand.
The doctors and the nurse who stitched me up and back together and sent me on my way with a current tetanus shot.
The healthcare workers who administer COVID tests, without which we could not travel home.
The delightful young woman who came into our lives serving cappuccinos and conversation. She enriched my time in this place.
And today, when the car’s steering wheel locked up when we were on a remote road headed to a waterfall, a man on his way to work stopped to help when others had refused. He took the time to jump in our car and did what we believed was the impossible. Announcing he “was a strong man”, drove off as we were now able to do so as well!
“I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.” Maya Angelou
Try, try again. Today we are making a second attempt to leave town. We are headed to the island Vidðy.
Yesterday my toe got caught in a small dip in the asphalt next to our parked car. I had a nasty fall – lots of yelling (which I’m prone to do) as I went down, and which continued long after my head hit the ground hard. Real hard.
So we went to the E. R. instead.
I was asked for my passport so I felt like I had traveled somewhere.
I was treated and sewn up by three doctors; two of whom had studied medicine in Denmark, the other in Poland. A nurse from Germany completed the international feel.
I was told I would soon develop goggle eyes. And they were correct.
When I picked up the prescribed antibiotics, I bought some kids’ bandaids as well – to give myself some smiles.
A good night’s rest and we were off first thing this morning for Vidðy Island.
The day offered stunning vistas.
All told, we were on the islands of Streymoy, Esturoy, Bordoy and Vidðy today.
Over coffee each morning this is what we ask ourselves.
I pull out the large map and we look at notes we have written on the map or we refer to our Kindle books about the Faroes. Then we order another coffee and lay out the day’s travel plan.
Yesterday we went northeast to Bordðy and its next door island Kunoy. Today we travelled by ferry to Sandoy in the south. Each of the eighteen islands is unique in its particular geography and spectacular vistas.
The one thing all the islands have in common is sheep. Lots of sheep, seen both in the distance
and right alongside the road.
Sheep pay no heed as you drive by, but if you slow down to gaze upon them or to take a photograph, they move along.
Yesterday was the exception. After turning onto a small road, we slowed down because up ahead “greeter” sheep were literally running towards us.
They gathered around the car, baaing like crazy.
I thought for sure they would jump in the car if we let them. It was fun experiencing such a fine welcome after so much stand-offishness.
Tonight we ended this day on a practical note. As this was the 4th day since our arrival, a COVID-19 test was advised. And so we did.
Tomorrow we’ll begin the day with cappuccinos and the map, asking “where shall we go today”.
Yesterday morning a group gathered just outside the Icelandic consulate. They were there because a car had driven into the old section of town, tried to turn around and instead had become hung up on a concrete ledge.
They offered counsel and console. Communication and contact. Support and skill. Hospitality and care.
The situation even became a stop on a walking tour of Torshavn’s “old town”.
A young man whom we learned was in a construction apprenticeship, was working nearby and offered to call the police.
Eventually the police department arrived to make an assessment.
“This is a job for the fire department.”
While waiting for the fire department the neighbors offered an invitation to sit and have tea while the mother sat at the window to watch for the fire department.
“We need wood.” Neighbors brought wood and the jacking up began.
Success! The car was freed. One fire department member held out a portable credit card reader for payment, we gave repeated thanks to all as a neighbor slowly backed the car off the board, drove off to nearby corner where we met up. He got out, we got in, and drove off!
In William Wehman’s video Alphabet Soup, the letter K stands for King. The king proceeds to say: “welcome to the kingdom. This is mine. All of it. Over here and over there, every last bit of it. All of it. Mine.” My sons and I have fun repeating this every now and then.
I was thinking about that line last night, after another day of wonder and wondrous places where we traveled this day. Gazing upon the majesty before me, feeling this is all mine for this moment.
This wonder of the majesty of God’s creation in this place is all mine – it fills up my soul, lightens my load.
It both fills me with awe and quietens me at the same time.
The past two days have been filled with vistas which seem far off, but are close enough to touch. I’m reminded to pay attention to this moment. It may not come again. Stop. Savor.
I already long to return. I’m keenly aware of my age and know my returns may not be returns. All the more reason to live in this very moment.