By Melissa Andersen
The heat radiating from the slight fireplace produces trickles of condensation on the edge of the window, while billowing smoke towards the rising sun. A soft blanket of snow engulfs the city beyond. Rays of tepid light from the heavens kiss the powder and slowly begin to warm the boutique Norwegian town. Snow gracefully melts from the Christmas pines, exposing the forest green branches once more. Drops of water fall down to the white streets, revealing the asphalt for the drivers, busily making their way to life’s duties.
However, I find myself nestled in the comfort of my one bedroom sanctuary. Wrapped in my fluffy purple robe and soft slippers. Oak ceilings match the hardwood floors, with a decorative wall of dark grey brick. Antlers from Scandinavian deer garnish the walls, brought home by the strong hands of my love. An acoustic guitar sits in the corner, begging to be strummed by the skillful fingers of its owner. Tranquil music seeps from the surround sound, causing an ever-growing calming affect.
My MAC air sits on the homemade table of Danish wood, still encompassing its bark edges. My fingers massage the keyboard, putting my inner thoughts into words. The natural light of the sun creeps through the open window as I pull the shades, and my loft awakens. This is my office.
How did I end up writing a book in Norway you ask? Good question. This Nordic country couldn’t be more opposite to my flat, beach ruled, hot and humid home in Florida. But you know what they say, opposites attract.
Norway’s appeal is difficult to put into words, because the landscape, literally, takes your breath away. The rugged mountain ranges dominate the land, cut deep by colossal Fjords of turquoise and blue. Thousands of islands speckle the coastline that is bordered by three seas. Spruce trees shoot high towards the sky, displaying a soft green blanket between the earth and the clouds. Monet himself couldn’t have portrayed such natural beauty.
So, I guess you can say Norway’s dynamic scenery stole my heart. I fell in love with this country mid 2012, after a month long backpacking trip through Europe. Its incomparable beauty managed to tug on this Florida girls heartstring. Since then I’ve tried to spend 3-6 months here yearly.
However this is my first winter here, as I typically come summer and fall to trek the mountains and enjoy the sunshine. Now I am currently hidden away in a quaint town called Porsgrunn, quietly avoiding the distractions of the busy world outside. Retained indoors by the icy climate, which is hard to get used to when you are solar powered! The days are short, with only 6-7 hours of daylight before the dark of evening sets in. If I don’t have skis or running shoes on my feet, I hardly venture out. My hiking books are hung in the closet with care, awaiting the long summers days. Until then, I am content with my peaceful, quiet, writing escape.