Monday, May 12, 2008

The heart of all my stories

This is Almhjell in Sunndalen, the farm where my father grew up, and where my grandmother lived until recently. It's hard to describe how beautiful it is, but I'll try.

Almhjell nestles at the foot of a mountain, one of many that rise like towers, pushing the sky to soaring heights above the valley. Waterfalls fling themselves off cliffs, dissolving into misty, sparkling sprays before gathering to feed the green, thundering river. White blossoms dot the sweet cherry and apple trees, and white is also the colour of the long wooden house where my grandmother used to peek through the windows at owls and cats and cows.

Behind the red barn there is a brook called the Summerchild that skips and splashes down from the mountains. I've listened to its tall tales and strange rumours ever since I was a summer child myself.

And then there is the elm, the enormous tree of my family name, which stretches its mossy trunk and heavy branches far above the roof of the long house. No one knows how far its roots have dug.

The farm now belongs to my uncle, and it's full of everyday life and litter: coughing tractors, scattered tools, tulips trampled by kids.

But underneath that it is also the heart of every story I've ever dreamed up, and the home of Line and Niklas.

And more, sharper, better photos here.

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