After two weeks living in Solheimar, the CELL group is getting into the groove of things here in Iceland.
Last week, we learned that Iceland has sort of an unofficial motto. The line, “þetta reddast”,(pronounced “thetta reddast”) translates to “it will all be okay” in Icelandic. This positive Icelandic philosophy is largely representative of the mentality that you will not only experience in Iceland as a whole, but especially in Solheimar.
As an ecovillage, Solheimar is an intentional community that strives to decrease its ecological impact while also providing a fulfilling lifestyle for the people living here, the majority of whom are elderly, disabled, or both. The “þetta reddast” mentality seems to allow them to keep a, forward-thinking outlook on life; its uncommon to meet people who aren’t discouraged by the challenges ahead of them, and there’s a refreshingly positive atmosphere among the community leadership.
In the United States, it is easy to focus on all of the things we are doing wrong, both socially and ecologically. I often get sucked into the trap of thinking of the things we are failing at, rather than acting in ways to create positive change, even in small ways. Here in Solheimar, being surrounded by a stunning geologic landscape and an atmosphere of growth, I am looking forward to finding new ways to enact change not only in Iceland, but back in the United States. “Þetta reddast” stands for resiliency and the idea that you will always find the correct path in life. From aiding Guðmundur in re-establishing the Solheimar forestry, to building a tiny house for the Solheimar museum out of materials we don’t have yet, it is teaching us to go with the flow, to try our best, and to trust that everything will work out in the end.