Through the magic of Facebook, last fall I found a friend from high school who I hadn't seen in ten years. She and her husband, who is Norwegian, are living with their two sons in northern Norway! (You can read more about their lives at their blog- Life in the Arctic Circle). While that doesn't exactly make us neighbors, we're a lot closer to each other than to most of our friends and family. So, I flew to Tromsø last Thursday to visit.
Click here to see a map showing Scandinavia (see Tromsø way up there?): http://www.freeworldmaps.net/europe/scandinavia/map.html
The city sits on an island, blanketed in snow and surrounded by mountains and sea. It is harsh but beautiful. There is so much sky! In January, darkness still rules at most hours. But it sharpens your awareness of all types of light- the vast scattering of stars across a clear sky, the warm glow of lamps in the windows of almost every home, the twinkling of lights far across the fjord. And it certainly makes everyone appreciate the sunshine. The day before I arrived was the first day that the sun had risen above the horizon since November. It a day marked with celebration- special doughnuts, parties at day care centers, paper suns in windows of schools. During those short hours of light, it always looked like twilight to me. The sun still isn't high enough in the sky to shine down; it just creates long shadows and the most breathtaking colors in the sky and clouds.
While I was there I tried to drink in, soak in, take in everything around me. I feel like I'm so filled with new memories and experiences that it will take time to sort everything out. It was such a wonderful trip and I feel so blessed to reconnect with old friends and get to know them again. It was especially fun to meet their 3-year-old and 15-month-old sons and spend time playing and laughing with them. My days with their busy family were a good contrast to my quiet life in Sörup. But it is good to be home where I can reflect and cherish my trip to the Arctic Circle.
More to come...