Christmas in Iceland - 15.12.1940, Blaðsíða 14

Christmas in Iceland - 15.12.1940, Blaðsíða 14
The long Jump Translated from the Icelandic of Porir Bergsson I remember that evening well, and for several reasons. It was the first Christmas that I had spent away from my parent’s home, for I was studying with Archdeacon SigurSur at StaSur that winter. I had just left my bed after a pretty bad go of pneu- monia, and was still shaky. But that evening sticks in my memory most because of — well, I’ll tell you about it. We were all sitting round the Christmas table. StaSur village is a good way from the sea, at the head of the valley, and it is about twenty miles or so over the hill to the nearest town. Though it is not much of a hill, it is often difficult going in winter, being fairly level, and it is hard to keep one’s bearings in a snowstorm or mist. There were lights in every corner; no shadows anywhere — that's our custom at Christmas-time. For this was Christmas Eve itself. It was warm and snug in the biggest room, and there the whole lot of us were sitting, about twenty all told. There was only one missing — Sveinbjorn, the labourer. Outside, a northerly gale was howling over the roof. It had come on suddenly in the evening, or rather just as dusk was beginning to fall, and had got steadily worse from then on. We knew that it was only beginning. We all felt a bit uneasy. We had no doubts about Sveinbjorn, for he was a very active man, and well inured to hardships. The rea- son for his absence was that a peasant had come in from the country that morning in mortal fear and asked the Archdeacon if he could have a man and a horse to fetch a doctor. The prospects were poor and the roads were in a bad state. A little more, and it would be impossible to take a horse anywhere. And into this Sveinbjorn had been sent with four horses. Many times before he had risked his life in snowstorms and other perils. And now this woman, groaning in her labour out there in the wilds, was crying out for the only help it seemed possible to send her, while we were waiting, waiting to see whether the attempt would be successful, or would end in death — for more than one. That’s why we were uneasy, as we sat round the festive board that evening. “They ought to be here by now”, said the Archdeacon suddenly, “even if they had to leave their horses when they got up on to HofSa. And I should think that was probably what they had to do”. “I don’t like that new doctor”, said Brand- ur, one of the farm labourers. “E ain’t got no spunk. I reckon Sveinbjorn ’ad to carry ’im, blest if I don’t, parson!” “He is not very strong”, said the Archdea- con, “and perhaps he will hardly manage this dangerous journey. You know him, don’t you, 12 CR1STMAS IN ICELAND


Christmas in Iceland

Beinir tenglar

Ef þú vilt tengja á þennan titil, vinsamlegast notaðu þessa tengla:

Tengja á þennan titil: Christmas in Iceland

Tengja á þetta tölublað:

Tengja á þessa síðu:

Tengja á þessa grein:

Vinsamlegast ekki tengja beint á myndir eða PDF skjöl á Tí þar sem slíkar slóðir geta breyst án fyrirvara. Notið slóðirnar hér fyrir ofan til að tengja á vefinn.