Notes from Jan

Floating into Flam

May 27, 2016

After leaving Stavanger last evening, we hugged the western coast  of Norway until we entered the first fjord about 6:00 this morning. Awoke early, eager to catch the first glimpse of this spectacular part of the cruise.  To reach our port of call, we needed to glide through the Sognefjord, into the Aurlandsfjord before reaching our destination of Flam.

Out of respect for the wildlife who live in these waters, we slipped through the fjord as stealthily as a large ship can do.  Not a ripple in sight.  Animals grazed on steep hillsides, gardens grew where none should. Snow crowned mountains showed signs that winter never lasts. There were cracks in winter’s armor as the sun poked into crevices, melting ice and sending water running down the mountainside, like hanging veils of lace.

The town of Flam, resembles an outpost more than a town. A few barn red buildings clustered together for company, the most noticeable one, bore the humorous title, The Mall of Norway.

Before tourists came, it was a farming community.  Near here, Norway’s famous brown goat cheese was invented in 1863.  Now Norway produces about 12,000 tons a year. Busy goats.

Norwegians love nature and there’s so much to love.  Today, as we wound our way, by bus, up into the mountains past houses with sod roofs, through more than twenty tunnels, I marveled at what God and man created in this part of the world.

Small red houses, called huts, sat around lakes or up in the mountains like small Christmas packages.  Our guide said that fifty% of Norwegians own a summer house or hut.  After awhile we stopped at a small hotel where we were served coffee and waffles with cream and strawberry jam.

As I surveyed the alpine lake below, snow covered mountains, goats nibbling nearby, I felt like singing. No, not like Maria in The Sound of Music  Fortunately, others were using the rest rooms, finishing up their waffles or had wandered off for one more photo, when I got an urge to sing.

So I sang what I could remember, “For the beauty of the earth, la la la la la la la…Lord of all, to Thee we raise, this our song of grateful praise.”

And I  guess that’s all I really needed to say, Lord, Thanks for all of this and so much  more.  Thanks  for friends, resources to travel, courage to come, a cane  to keep me less wobbly and lingering daylight.  It’s almost 11:30 and still light.

I’ll miss that and more as I turn towards home.

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  • Reply Sharon Cushing May 28, 2016 at 12:00 am

    So pleased for your wonderful adventure! Every story you share is a wonderful blessing. Thank you!
    I am happy to report the Red Sox are doing very well – so summer can start with a big smile. You will return to at least the start of “hope in the nation.” Well… RS nation.. the bigger picture needs prayer.

  • Reply Dale Lefever May 28, 2016 at 2:19 am

    So, with all of those artistic and poetic words, I am going to conclude you think it is pretty where you are. I once almost broke out in song, too, but I fell under the grip of the Spirit and enhanced my wife’s faith in the sovereignty of God and His perfect timing.

    Glad the Lord is ministering to your spirit through His magnificent creation.

    Blessings, Dale

  • Reply Chris May 28, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Ahhh! And a resounding amen.

  • Reply Robert May 28, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Already felt there with you by that second paragraph! Full of the joy of presence…such a tonic way to begin this wonderful morning.

  • Reply susan May 29, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Oh, Earth. You are too beautiful for any of us to realize! Poets and saints, maybe…
    I love that quote

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