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Nordaførr: In the North

Life in Vesterålen, Norway

They told us that there are only two seasons in the Arctic, a white winter and a green winter. The green winter is short and abundant, immediately going over in the white winter after the first snow in the beginning of October. Green leaves freezing of the trees, snow covering the green grass.

And the white winter is long and harsh, with as its climax the polar night, lightened by the northern lights. Every year a mixture of gladness and anxiety over the coming winter creeps up on us while the days get colder.

Winter is actually a much needed break between the busy winter preparations after the summer holidays and the intensive start of the growing season in May/June. Summer is short and there is little time to do everything that has to be done in the summer, even shortened by the long summer holiday in July.

We love July, the nearby school is closed, few go to work and all our neighbours leave the area to live in their cottages somewhere in the mountains. Or travelling to the South.

Our first winter was beautiful – so much to enjoy and experience, but afterwards we started to understand the meaning of the winter song we learned the first year:

Nordaførr Vårvisa

It still brings tears to my eyes after all this years, because it totally describes the long winter feeling and the longing for the sun. For those that want to know the lyrics.

Try to feel the North-Norwegian text; it is really poetic and deep. But for those that don’t understand I found an English translation.

This year we are enjoying a really long autumn, with beautiful colours, making up for all the autumns we didn’t have the past 7 years.

This year everyone and everything seems calmer, more relaxed. Mountains are still inviting us over and Thor is seemingly still on his summer holiday, leaving the weather sunny and windless.

So chores can be spread over several weeks and peace is all over – instead of the normal autumn stress.

Or maybe it is just us getting more and more adapted.

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About the Author: Pim

As one of the 'natur-innvandrere' from the Netherlands (immigrants because of the beautiful Norwegian nature), Pim really enjoys the astonishing LoVe-Islands (Lofoten-Vesterålen) with a challenging job at the municipality and living a life based on what the Islands offer. Read her blog Arctic Living.

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