Identity

Specs of glaciers in a sea of blue gave way to expanses of patterned prairie  and I forgot who I was again.

norwaytrees
A train up into the mountains held little more than atmosphere to offer on such a foggy day.

We flew into the sun after our ascent from the dreary Norwegian November morning, and I pulled my window shade up and squinted into the brightness, searching.

The plane hurled us over the Atlantic and I kept my forehead resting on the window pane, taking in glaciers when they periodically broke the swathe of muted color. Alone and drifting in the endless, endless sea.  They looked so tiny and insignificant. My perspective from the sky, skewed.

We floated, it seemed, defying gravity and somehow reality.  How does time exist on a plane? Where was I at any given moment?

There’s no touch screen map in existence  precise enough for that.

I longed for the footing I felt on damp Norwegian soil. The pull towards the earth.

The roots.

I walked confidently there without knowing where I was, like my boots somehow slotted into the cobbled pavement and  my lungs recognized the thick sea air and breathed it in greedily.  In Norway the wind whipped my hair into a frenzy of frizz and tangles. I didn’t care. Instead we let the wind pull our family along as we wandered the streets until our heads hit soft pillows and I fell asleep in a cocoon of belonging.

Because that is what my soul craves to do: Wander, and belong. Wander, and belong. Repeat.

I’ve never been sure the two are compatible, but it felt so, in Norway.

My family is only American as far back as the 20th century.  Nearly all of my roots prior lead to Norway. My grandmother Martha used to teach me Norwegian nursery rhymes and how to count in Norwegian. Her Norwegian artifacts and cultural references were quaint to me as a child; exotic but old-fashioned.  I knew Norway only as my grandma’s trinkets, dusty and handmade. The country was an intangible thing which created my grandma and my dad, and me, too, somehow.

But from the moment I climbed down the plane in Norway, the whir of the engines and the howl of the storm barraged my ears. The mist tickled my face, cool moisture on tired skin. I smelled trees. Lots of trees. I tasted fog and saw nothing but planes. But it was tangible, all of it. Suddenly, Norway was real.

I’ve had many conversations with my good friend in Scotland about roots. I’m fascinated by the notion of them but terrified at the same time of . I don’t feel I have many at the moment. That my family and I are tied to each other, but not things or places.

The wonder of Norway fed my soul. Something I so desperately craved but didn’t know on a conscious level until I was there.

I know no matter where life takes me, my blood is Norwegian. My genes gave me fair skin and big feet.  Ever present reminders of a rootI do have, wherever I plant my feet: my body.

Going forward, I strive to honor my body for its creation, its lineage, and its most important purpose, other than birthing my son…. holding my soul.

My soul doesn’t know where it belongs and maybe it doesn’t belong anywhere but the uncharted space between two lands. My heart and soul is split between so many people and places. My love is scattered all around the world.

But my soul and my body have each other for this time on earth, and each should be loved the same.

Both need to be nourished, and this is my journey.

Until next time, Vi ses!

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