The landscape here

July 9, 2012 § 27 Comments

Hei from Norway!  We’re still here for a few more days, but I wanted to pop by here and say hello and show you a little bit of where we are.

I don’t know how many people this is true for, but I know for myself, I rarely feel completely at home in my own skin.  Often, I get too busy trying to read others and to be what I think they may want me to be.  Or I get too caught up in worrying about the various “why’s” of my existence, especially the big one.  Why am I here it all?  Ah, the life of the questioner.

But, when I am in Norway, that all tends to fall away.  Suddenly being isn’t something to calculate or to question.  I just am.  Everything fits.  The smells, the light, the air, the particular sweep of the rocks and ocean, the texture of the lichens, stones, and grasses, the dappling of the leaves, it all feels like home.  Not even home really, something deeper.  I feel like it is part of me and I am part of it.  If you peeled back my skin, the landscape here would be what you see underneath it.  And when I sit in the landscape, I feel blessedly invisible.  The boundaries and the smallness of the identity I usually assume simply dissolve.  It all just is.

I feel profoundly lucky when I have moments of feeling this way.  A friend of mine recently shared a quote, and though I don’t know where it is from, it spoke very much to that sense of having a place you really belong to, something I think we all do have, somewhere.

“One’s native place is the place where, since before you had words for such knowledge, you have known the smells, the seasons, the bird and beasts, the human voices, the houses, the ways of working, the lay of the land, the quality of light. It is the landscape you learn before you retreat inside the illusion of your skin. You may love the place if you flourished there, or hate the place if you suffered there. But if you love it or hate it, you cannot shake free. Even if you move to the antipodes, even if you become intimate with new landscapes, you still bear the impression of that first ground.”

I wish you all a moment of respite and a deep sense of belonging, arising from your native place, internal or external.

That’s all for now.  But, we’ll be back stateside in a few more days with more stories to share.  Ha det godt!

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