Thursday, February 28, 2013

More than skiing?

Today as I look out the window we have fantastic "Easter weather".
This is actually a genuine way of describing the weather here in the land of the north. Any Norwegian will know what I mean.

I just spent a few days at our cabin Eljarbu with family. Often when I experience the vast space of white snow and the total stillness of nature, I wished everyone in the world could have a day or more like that. People who only see tall buildings and hear sounds of traffic, who are concerned with surviving in a concrete jungel, they all deserve a day in the beauty of the mountains in winter.

It makes folks happy, just being there. I tell you, the occasional cross country skiers you meet on the slopes smile and say hello--and that's not really normal among Norwegians. They are just not that open with strangers.

My problem is embarrassing to admit, but to a person who can easily peel seven potatoes when Arnfinn peels one, I have to say that everyone passes me on the tracks there among snow crystals and trees. I mean, even seventy or eighty year-olds easily outrun me. What's up with that? Poor Arnfinn and Hector, the Wheaten Terrier, take waiting breaks more often than I want to admit, so that I may catch up with them.
Fact: I will never be the next Petter Northug.

There's more to a day in the mountains than skiing. (I can just see Arnfinn lifting his eyebrows, asking surprisingly, "There is?") Just see him and Hector swooshing through the white stuff and imagine me way in the back taking pictures, maybe wiping a tear or two of gratefulness for being allowed to be part of God's nature like that.

The colors of nature are wisely painted to give us comfort, diversity, and excitement. The cobolt blue sky and white snow with cerulean and purplish shadows, the deep green pine trees all add to the calming feeling. Had the sky above been bright orange continuously and the trees signal red, we would have been too keyed up and the serenity would have to be sought elsewhere. Warm and bright colors are saved for the enjoyment of a beautiful sunrise or sunset. It's all part of a wise creation plan for our sanity and the need for variety and beauty.

So, is there more to the mountains than skiing? Yes, to me coming back to the cabin, drinking hot chocolate with whipped cream, eating a nice dinner with family, and playing games with the warm fire roaring in the black oven--that's part of the adventure.

Photos today: a double exposure of Anya and her baby Sienna inside the cabin, with me taking the photo out on the veranda - Arnfinn and Hector skiing - Sienna playing in the cabin with the large teddy bear - Hector eating his meal outside - and an amazing and strange sunrise. It was shaped like the Eiffel Tower. Ever seen anything like that?

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