There’s a song I don’t love: I left my heart in San Francisco. Damnit. I can hear it yodeling through my brain now. It used to always play in my head every time I went home to California, the bay area. The sight of San Francisco, the Golden Gate, the bay, laying before me as we flew in would overwhelm me with emotion. Happy at being home. Happy at my city.  So happy I would have tears in my eyes.

I don’t know if there’s a similar song for Norway. But. I left my heart in Norway. I feel home in Norway. It’s my new city by the bay, not Oslo, though Oslo is lovely, but Norway. Her wild open spaces. The trees. The snow. The fjords, lakes, streams… all of it. I feel home.

Every picture I took turned out beautiful. I took too many, and yet I didn’t take enough. I look at them now & I feel it can’t be real that I was just there. Walking the streets, in the snow, my ears turning to ice under my hat. That crisp, clean air filling my lungs. Cold just makes you feel so alive. Being outside, surrounded by all that wilderness I am reminded of who I am.

I am feeling very poetic this morning, but I am not a poet. Mary Austin is a poet and her poem speaks my feelings. I don’t feel like I’m only me, I feel like I’m part of the world. Norway connects me like no other place on earth.

Man is not himself only…
He is all that he sees;
all that flows to him from a
thousand sources…
He is the land, the lift of its
mountain lines, the
reach of its valleys.

— Mary Austin (Inyo writer)