Stunning. Breathtaking. Staggering. Majestic. Awesome.

Since I learned those words, I did not truly understand what they meant. Now, I do.

A thousand feet above the small town of Klaksvik, the second largest town of the Faroe Islands, I carefully shuffled down onto a precipice of frozen grass and rock. On all sides rose the steep, snow-capped faces of the fjord walls. The channel of water, the lifeblood of this island nation, bringer of food and spirit, cut through the walls to the southeast. Along this corridor of the gods streaked the first rays of the creeping sun, igniting the tips of the clouds above the distant sea before ending their cosmic journey across vast space in a radiant ricochet against the jagged peaks. The luminous scatter bathed the morning in a salmon glow, warming the frigid winter air and revealing the melodic and unhurried motions of the town below. My eyes stretched left to right futilely gasping to drink in the whole of the epic scene. They reached, like an infant toward his mother’s face, to the distant slopes, as the shadow receded one microscopic boulder at a time down toward the still waters of the fjord. So focused, so enraptured, so irreverent was I that I entirely forgot to breathe. My body became nothing; my mind became all. Resting there, high above, like a god gazing over his creation, I reveled in the glory of this morning. But I am not a god. I am but a man, small and insignificant, powerless and pitiless, impotent to comprehend to the magnificence of the universe. In my feebleness, I saw only my futility amidst the brilliance of mother nature, and all I could do was submit in praise of her majesty. My sight rippled with unclarity as tears came to my eyes; helpless was I against this awesome beauty.