20 Dec 2013 Norway: A Glimpse between Winter and Spring
In my travels, among many things, I also look for magnificence, it activates my life inspiration. The world’s various forms of beauty are sometimes shelters from these continuous human failures, from the human despair and from the the destruction of beauty itself. Sometimes they are triggers for virtuous actions. Travelling, being also an exploration, allows to come in front of magnificent things: the hands of a woman resembling flowers in a Thai dance or representing the earth in a Norwegian countrywoman; a flying condor when it shows its wingspan, a majestic elk crossing fearfully the road, the untouched environment.
Nature’s manifestation is particularly awe-inspiring, the more virgin the deeper the wonder. That is why I love the moment when at the beginning of May I start traveling to Geiranger (Norway) where I will be spending my summer working. When I arrive there it is my favourite time of the season: the 240 inhabitants of the village are not hosting any tourists yet; the winter season is giving space to spring and this transition is like an awakening after a long sleep.
Last May some of my closest friends and I decided to devote some time to deeply enjoy this unique time of year. We went for a camping weekend in the middle of nature, not far from the village. The place is called Flydalsetra, it is an old abandoned summer farm, about half an hour walk from the last inhabited houses. The purpose of the escapade was allowing some time to ourselves. The time that we miss during the busy season. It was a personal experience in a special place, surrounded by the people with whom we are ourselves. What made that weekend outstanding, a part from the people, was the place.
An awe awaking place.
A minute spot in the universe where the beauty of nature prevails so much that it was able to astonish and inspire me. It was an harmonious painting, in which the combined effect of every single detail was creating a natural wonder. The peaks, which were still wearing their caps of snow, were making a perfect background; a valley, cut by a fierce stream, originated at the feet of the mountains and it seemed a delimited and vast space at the same time. The timber line clearly distinguished the graze fields of the upper part of the dale and the underlying woods. The light was extremely bright and the sky cloudless, it was the reborn luminosity after the dark and long winter. However, the sun was still shy. The winter, still present, was coexisting with the emerging spring creating a game of colours. On the one hand there was the white colour of the snow on the other the yellow, the green and the brown tones that were merging into one tint.
The motionless painting was slowly awaking. The sounds also accentuated the difference between the two seasons: the silence interrupted by sporadic avalanches belonged to winter whereas the tweeting of the birds and the roar of water were associated with the vibrant spring. The swallows danced freely in the sky, having great fun, accompanied by a gentle breeze.
It was the ideal place to just stare at nature’s phenomena, lie down, listen and free your mind. I felt connected with everything around me. First I walked barefoot on the wet soil and then I shocked my feet stepping on the frosty snow. Later I went to the river and its strength, its coldness, its sound had a double effect on me: magnetism and intimidation. I could have watched it for hours learning how to respect it. I also rested watching the swallows and once again I envied the ability of flying.
It was the simplicity, the integrity and the personal contact with this natural manifestation that delighted my soul and for that I felt grateful. The place was denuded by any invasive human presence and this made it possible to stop and listen to wonder; everything stood in its original place or was moved only by natural circumstances and my perceptions broadened. My senses were those of a child experiencing everything for the first time.
When I was there, in the middle of nature, I was feeling great, unconscious of the effect that such a simple experience could have on me in the future. The magic of these places is that they are also enlightening in the time ahead.
While walking back to the village I felt cheerful: that weekend had been a reminder of many important simple things. I had left behind insignificant matters and was ready again to deal with everyday life situations with a little more gratitude. During the working season, when my mind was overwhelmed, I found myself thinking back to that moment in need of that peaceful sense, I found it and it helped. Now even the memory of it makes me feel grateful.
About the Author: Jessica Michele Garcia: I am a freelance writer graduated in Translation and Communication Sciences and in Freelance Journalism. I also work as tour agent and tour guide in Norway every summer. Travelling is my lifestyle: I am now living in Chiang Mai (Thailand). More on my blog!