The Sea, the Winter, and the Darkness

The ocean called to us. Day and night we lived and breathed beside it, alongside its churning expanse of green, blue, grey. We breathed its salty air; our ears filled with the music of lapping waves and seagull cries. The whole landscape around us ebbed in and out with the tide.  For so long I had dreamed of going to sea, feeling the strength of the wind and the pull of the currents and that feeling of flying.  That gentle rocking of the waves.  The silence.

It was cold this time, though, and Edvin was suffering from headaches and dizziness.  Fishing seemed unwise, but still, we had to go.  So it was that one afternoon, after yet another cup of coffee, Tor Edvin and I swept the tractor free of snow and loaded up our supplies – layer after layer of clothing, gasoline, food, water.  Cameras and tripods.  Slowly, we drove the tractor down to the harbor, where their new boat lay fastened to the dock, blanketed in snow.  I swept the snow from the floor, tossing it overboard.  The sky began to grow dark, but it was of no consequence.  Snow drifted from the sky and the sea was calm.  Tor Edvin parked the tractor and we went to sea.

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This is where the world turns to magic.  This is the epitome of that endless melancholic northern beauty that seizes my heart with such intensity.  This is the world, the feeling, that haunts my dreams and draws me back north, again and again.  That feeling that everything that surrounds you is so vast, so powerful, so primal and heartbreakingly beautiful, that nothing else exists.  It’s the feeling of being truly alive, of passing through a world so profoundly real that everything else fades to utter insignificance.

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It is hard to even know what to say, really.  We drove out into the darkening grey oblivion before us and the land drifted past in all its hazy shades of white.  Our breath came in silvery mist; birds soared overhead.  As we neared the white sand of the island, the sea grew more and more green.  We landed ashore; we walked the island.  It got darker.  The clouds began to lift and the sweeping snowy Efjord mountains gleamed in the distance.

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On our way back, Tor Edvin cut the engine in the middle of the crossing. We sat in silence at the opposite ends of the boat, bundled in our jackets.  We sat feeling the waves gently rock the boat, listening to it as if it were music.  Maybe it is music.

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And with that, the world fell into darkness around us.

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