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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27 Responses to The landscape here

  1. Gladys Salmela says:

    Ummmmm! Lovely! Thanks for the story + pictures!

  2. I can just smell the air! Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing them!

  3. Heather says:

    Beautiful pictures and post. Looks like Norway is healing for the soul 🙂

  4. Stunning! Living in the mountains, I love seeing the hills in other countries. And that last photo- adorable!

    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      Thank you so much! And, I agree, it is fun to compare the mountains and hills in different places. They all have their own wonderful character.

  5. Heather says:

    Gorgeous photos and quote! I went to Norway five years ago and seeing your photos makes me want to return!

  6. Erina says:

    I’ve never been, though a good friend is from there and is adament that I must experience it. Wonderful photos…thanks for sharing!

  7. kelsey jones-casey says:

    lovely, em. the quote is from Scott Russell Sanders’s book Staying Put: Making a Home in a Restless World. miss you!

  8. This is a beautiful post! The pictures are obviously gorgeous but I also love your reflections on being in Norway. Thank you for sharing and enjoy the rest of your trip!

  9. pRiyA says:

    One day I will visit beautiful Norway. I enjoyed this post very much. What beautiful words about a native place. Much food for thought there.

  10. KathyK says:

    Great post Emily. I’m glad you are having a great visit.

  11. […] Gorgeous photos of Norway (they make me want to go back!) […]

  12. Emily, thank you so much (tusen takk) for your beautiful photographs and your thought provoking words. It was lovely to re-visit Norway through this. I went to Jeløy Folkehøyskole in 1977 for one year, absolutely loved the place, but have never made it back. One day, I will return. Vennlig hilsen.

    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      Takk skal du ha! Jeg er glad for at du likte de, og jeg haaper at du for reise til Norge igjen en dag. 🙂

  13. How beautiful it is there. It’s clear you’ve found a place of peace. Enjoy the rest of your visit!

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