Friday, July 27, 2007


I have lived for thirty years On the far side of the sea. I love the ever rolling ocean, the winds, the sailing seagulls and the big, ever changing sky.

But I am rooted elsewhere. In Sauda at the deep end of Rogaland's beautiful Boknafjord. Surrounded by 121 mountain peaks, with breath taking waterfalls and the North River foaming just below my native home.
There I was born and spent the first 18 years of my life. My father too was born there and was 86 when he died in June.

I actually have not been home since the funeral of my father. Mostly due to my mother not being home either for the time being, and me being occupied visiting other relatives in hospital.

I've had 4 incredibly busy months, visiting near and dear ones at the hospital in Haugesund. Gunnar's aunt Lilly, who is much more than an ordinary relative to us all, my father, our daughter, my best uncle Leif, a dear, close family friend, Sverre, my brother-in- law, Terje, and now Sigve lying there for two weeks before he died the day before yesterday.
That's seven of them on the same 5th floor on our hospital in four months.
And Gunnar leaving for his fourth time undergoing rather nasty examinations in the Bergen hospital in August..

Serina will be moving away for one year in August. We hope she'll have a good time, but our lives will loose their focus. She a colourful bird who's kept us fully occupied for nineteen years. She surely deserve to fly. I feel confident that the Lord will protect her and keep he safe as are his promises.

These revolving days I just could not find any rest in our home, I had to touch and smell, see and feel my roots. Gunnar and Serina were only happy to follow, and my mother came back from her visit to her roots and four siblings at Jaeren.
The rivers run high because of all the rain we've had this July. The blueberries in the mountains were ripe and scented of childhood. The paths where we used to leap and run were still there.

There are nine valleys leading down to the centre of Sauda. I was raised in one of them, with the mountains on the east and the river running in the west, southbound towards the salty fjord.

When I go to bed with an open window, the lullaby of the river makes me fall asleep in a wink.

Gunnar and Serina had to return to town for a doctor's appointment, while my mother and I just took one path at a time. We emptied some closets, went down town for groceries and flowers for the church yard (we call it church yards, because there usually is a church nearby the graves), we even had cream cakes and coffee at the local bakery and a long , nice chat with my cousin and his wife.

Finally we hung up some pictures of my father in the corner of the living room where his chair is standing.
It felt kind of good to do these little things, cry a bit, talk, long and laugh at old family jokes. "Do you remember when..."
I am blessed to visit the house that has been our home since 1951, and still is, even though my mother will have to continue mostly on her own now.
Even Serina says, "Sauda is the place where I am free."
Life has changed this summer, more than I like.
Even so I am lucky to have a place to long to, and a husband who is willingly driving, when I feel I just have to arise and go.
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
I will arise and go now,
And go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there,
Of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there,
A hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there,
For peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning
To where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer,
And noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now,
For always night and day
I hear lake water lapping
With low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway
Or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.
William Butler Yeats