Puffin Sliding

O Tree of Calvary, send your roots deep into my soul. Gather together my frailties —my soiled heart, my sandy instability and my muddy desires —and entwine them with the strong roots of your arboreal love. Amen.

My friend and I stopped to pray mid afternoon at the church in Børn on Vagar from Prayers for All Seasons. As we prayed this prayer, both of us burst into laughter. You see, only a short while earlier I had slipped while hiking and my backside, from my head to my shoes, had been caked in mud.

I’d like to blame it on the puffins, but the reality is that I’m clumsy even when I am carefully using my walking stick.

Today we spent the day exploring Vagar, the island where the airport lives. To get to it, you have to drive through a long tunnel that goes under the ocean to connect Vagar to Streymoy.

It was a day to paint and hike and picnic.

We stopped in Miðvagur to buy cheese and bread for lunch. The store’s wares included yarn and a Tex Mex section.

The views along the drive were amazing.

The highlight of the day was hiking out to see Mullafsossur, a waterfall that drops off a cliff into the ocean.

The bonus was to discover a puffin nesting right beside the path on the way to see the falls.

I had been told how difficult and how rare it was to see puffins. I was told that my best hope was to take a long boat ride and then, at best, puffins would be sighted from afar. Here was one, right next to where I was walking!

As I looked around, I realized the cove was teeming with puffins. They can be recognized even from afar by their orange beaks and helicopter wings.

I was on my way to get closer to a flock of puffins when I slipped on a path. The slip turned into a slide as I slid down the path on my back. I couldn’t stop laughing. I knew how ridiculous it looked. My friend said it was a most impressive slide.

Folks raced to help me up, and it was at that point that I realized that I was caked in mud from top to bottom. Thankfully, there was a water closet within walking distance, and I had long johns and a sweater in the car that I could change into. Walking in the grass cleaned my hiking boots.

Finding a church with a door unlocked for prayers on the way home was yet another unexpected gift of the best kind of maybe day.

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