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Mother’s Day – Fýkur yfir hæðir

Updated: Jan 15, 2020

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I was reflecting on this beautiful sculpture, Fýkur yfir hæðir / Moorland Flight by Ásmundur Sveinsson. He is one of my favorite Icelandic sculptors. In the 1933, he finished this 95 cm tall piece. Ásmundur lived and worked in the old leprosy hospital at in Reykjavík when he completed this sculpture.

A woman is holding a small child in her arms. Ásmund said this about the significance of the sculpture: “I made it at Laugarnes. There was a blizzard raging outside, and I had the idea of making a sculpture of a woman trying to protect her child.”

The photo of the white statue above is in front of the restaurant, Leifsbúð in Búðardal. Last summer, I spent a few days traveling around and relaxing (og slaka á) Dalasýsla with good friends, Jóhann and Guðný. We had the most delicious dessert and hot cocoa at this café. Yum!

The title Fýkur yfir hæðir (Moorland Flight) is from the poem Móðurást (Motherly Love) by Jónas Hallgrímsson. This famous poem tells the tragic story of a mother carrying her young son through a storm across the Iceland moors. She died but saved her child. This statue in bronze is located at Ásmundarsafn and you can see a 3 minute video about this beautiful Ásmundur Sveinsson Museum here:

The poem by Jónas Hallgrímsson is found in Icelandic here:

The first lines are translated to English here: Blizzards are blinding the highlands tonight, blotting the pathways and landmarks from sight. Travellers who stray from the track will be lost, trekking this cold desolation of frost, bleak and unbounded and dreary.

Who is the woman who wanders the snow, weeping, unsure what direction to go, clutching her slumbering son to her breast, slipping and falling and stopping to rest, weak from exertion and weary?

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