It was a fresh Californian “spring” when I arrived in mid-June: Lilacs, lupines, Queen Anne's lace, buttercups and clover in riots. There are cool, rainy days interspersed with clear blue sunshiny days. When it is warm - it is HOT! It must be humidity; I'm certainly not used to it. I played badminton in the evening yesterday and took a few hours to recover from the heat. We are so far north that the sun is setting around 2235, it is far too easy to stay up too late!
Norway is gorgeous. I think it reminds me a bit of the mid-west or what I imagine America may have looked like years ago. There is so much forest and fields with waving grain and plentiful small family farms.
I went on a pleasant walk this evening. It was a little windy with a mackerel sky giving way to glimpses of light blue. I saw many daisies. In Norwegian they are called “prestacrava” which means, “priests’ cravat”. Now instead of seeing a cheerful flower I see a dignified round head stuffed tightly in his white collar. It is an amusing perspective. Part of my walk took me around a churchyard that was a quiet carpet of green spotted with bright flowers at nearly every grave. The church was white clapboard, large yet quaint. I wished it was open so that I could go in and absorb some of the sacred silence I felt sure I would find there.
All summer it rained and then there were a couple of surprising weeks when the sun and clouds played tug-of-war and the sun mostly won. I walked out to one of the lakes near our apartment and went for a refreshing swim in the cool water last week. I love to be out swimming the vast waters, the mirror surface reflecting back the sky and clouds and trees - it is as if you have a limitless universe to explore and it is all yours for the taking. I found a small grassy spot where I warmed in the sun and was lucky enough to watch two young boys feeding geese and ducks. One of the boys was completely taken with the waterfowl; he watched in fascination as a duck preened itself long after the bread was gone. It was delightful to see that childish wonder.
Fall is indeed here. The sun rises later and sets earlier. It is starting to freeze at night. There are golden highlights in the green forest horizon. Unfortunately it is already beginning to fade as the leaves make their descent.