Folklore tells of an invisible people who populate the Nordic island country. The modern generations of Iceland no longer pay heed to them; however, the "hidden folk" prove time and time again to their visitors they don't need the belief of mere mortals to exist.
In November 2014, I flew to Iceland with four friends to the Iceland Airwaves music festival. After the second worst Halloween ever and a good six months into my first full-time job after graduating, the trip came at the perfect time. The cement walls of the Keflavík airport welcomingly echoed back my footsteps as I sleep-stumbled after my friends whose strides were much longer than mine. Swiftly and silently, the second I left the cold, gray structure and planted my feet into Icelandic soil, the huldufólk grabbed hold of me and I became theirs forever.
Huldufólk roam free and protect their mystical terrain — a lumpy place, as I discovered when I walked through a field of mossy volcanic rock. Their home is a land of fire and ice, of thermal hot springs and glassy glacier lakes, of serpentine lights slithering in the sky and Garðar basalt columns rooted in the black sand of Reynisfjara.
Their magic is strong. It has, admittedly, been two years since I’ve been there, but I have no tainted recollections of my travels there. They’ve taken hold of my imagination, kept my memories from getting dusty, and illuminated even the dark, slippery streets of Reykjavík.