It began to be no night

Hot air salty in the summer. Time stands still, it seems. The flowers from last week – the moon-flowers, rounded and golden – have gone to seed, the magenta and purple ones faded away. A more yellowed shade of green takes over the land.

Midnight sun and other miracles. We stop the boat and I lay on my back and feel the waves rocking gently and laugh at the wonder of it all. Tor Edvin, driving the boat, is exactly the colors of the land, the summer, as if he were formed of its fabric. Everything gold and green.

There is a heart painted on a tree outside the Eliassen’s window that always catches my eye in the low-angle light when it is the only point of focus in a sea of blinding golden sun. There are reindeer that wander the flowering hillside, their fur sticking to the tundra when they have gone. The wind never quite ceases. Neither does the tide, as much as we can pretend that time itself comes to a halt. The ocean always reminds us of the true nature of things. Deep sea, baby.

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Both of us are photographers, light-writers, but different things capture our attention. Tor Edvin is captivated by the movement of the current, the way it boils and drifts and swirls. We stop the motor and let the water take the boat and we are flying. Laughter echoes across the calm water from some distant shore. I lay on my stomach and watch the ocean floor glide past. “For a movement,” Tor Edvin stares, bewildered and dreaming.

What gets me is the color, the light, every time. The midnight sun finds its twin in the calm sea that dances and flickers beneath it; the distant mountains glow in a golden purple haze in the nighttime sun. An hour or so after midnight the whole sky glows a perfect gradient of buttery yellow and orange. No sound but the ceaseless twittering of birdsong, the light breeze in the grass.

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Det begynte å bli ingen natt – it began to be no night. Those words in Norwegian spin around and around in my head.

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