Sunday, November 25, 2012

Genetic Memory, Part Two

Mom, me, and my sister Maryann in Norway, Summer 1984

My parents took us to Europe for their 25th wedding anniversary. We made quick stops in Paris and Copenhagen before taking a ferry to Norway, where we spent most of our time.

We drove up the west coast through Stavanger and Bergen before cutting east across the country to Oslo. I felt deeply connected to this land of my great grandfather, Einar, who emigrated to New York City as a young man.

The landscape, the architecture, the people. The waterfalls, the rivers, the fjords, the lakes that were the most impossible shade of blue. The fresh cherries we bought by the side of the road. The hikes in the mountains. The streets that wound through neighborhoods of clapboard houses, some white, some brightly colored. The clean, spare aesthetic. The friendly cousins we met in Oslo.  The bread and cheese and open-face sandwiches piled high with shrimp.

I could see myself making a home there.

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