Solheimar, Iceland

Solheimar, Iceland
Solheimar Ecovillage in Iceland

Earthaven Ecovillage

Earthaven Ecovillage
Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC

Yogaville, Satchidananda Ashram

Yogaville, Satchidananda Ashram
Yogaville in Buckingham, Virginia

Sunday, December 5, 2010

End of Chapter One

"There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self. So you have to begin there, not outside, not on other people. That comes afterward, when you've worked on your own corner." -Aldous Huxley

"We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future." -John F. Kennedy

"Look! Look! Look deep into nature and you will understand everything." -Albert Einstein

On November 26th, the day after a super-American holiday, I returned to the good ol' United States to conclude the first chapter of my eco-village visiting story. Its been nine days since leaving Iceland and I still feel the transition happening within. Traveling on buses and airplanes was uncomfortable and unpleasant, but the trip was made more comfortable by our visit to the Blue Lagoon just hours before our departure. This place was the Disneyworld of spas. It is the largest hot tub I've ever been in by far. What many of the tourists who pour into this pool every year don't know is that the Blue Lagoon is simply the wastewater of the nearby geothermal power plant, which sounds worse than it actually is. The CELL group learned this when we toured the plant prior to the swim. Although it is not a natural hot spring, the water is still healthy to swim and and contains several beneficial minerals and silica mud. Needless to say, we were all fairly relaxed for the strange experiences of saying goodbye and flying back to our respective homes.

The two largest differences I have seen between Iceland and America are the sun and the trees. There are trees EVERYWHERE. And they are all thick, tall, and covered with leaves. The first thing I did upon arriving home was run to the nearest long leaf pine tree and hug it, gazing in awe at its sheer height! Shortly after, I realized the intensity of the sun and laid in a t-shirt on a bed of dried pine needles in the hot rays of southern North Carolina.
Mornings seem odd to me since they are not the pitch black mornings of Iceland, but full of light and birds.
Reconnecting with my family, friends and cats has been pleasant but I miss my family in Iceland. I am so thankful for the connections that were made in Solheimar these past three months and for all that I have learned and absorbed.

So I will be using this time before my final semester at UNCW to process my Icelandic journey, read lots, meditate & do yoga, conduct some wrap-up research and edit all my photographs from Iceland. You will soon be able to glimpse my artistic photography since I now have the time to sort through and edit them. I did not use my free time in Iceland to upload photographs onto my flickr page since I was in Iceland and would have rather frolicked outside, spent time with my friends and roomies, or actually take more photos. So I will put up another post with a link to take you to my photography when I upload my first batches. I also have a few more videos I'd like to put on youtube, which I will inform you of when they are up. Watching the videos I took in Iceland may be the best way to summarize my trip & experience, so I urge you to take a trip over to
Thanks for reading, Bless bless!