It took us several hours of driving along tipsy-topsy winding roads to arrive in the little Norwegian municipality of Åseral, but we finally made it.
With a population of about 905 people, this place seems to be frozen in time, stolen from the pages of your favorite storybook. The home we stayed in was no exception to the fairytale Åseral embodied, and neither were its hosts. The smell of freshly baked cakes and other pastries mixed with the crisp cool air made everything perfect. I immediately felt a sense of peace as I unpacked my things and was just happy to be still, uninterrupted by text messages and phone calls.
Before we knew it we’d been adopted into the family. We we're picking fresh blueberries in the mountains, laughing over coffee and tea, and exchanging stories of our families and friends.
After meals we’d help our Norwegian Besta and Bestin (grandma and grandpa) clear the table and chat over a slice of cake and coffee. Here conversation carries a certain weight to it that seems to be missing back in the states. Here we talk about God, our families and what means the most to us, here we talk about faith, love.
When it was time for us to go the rain came pouring down. Our Besta and Bestin were sitting outside laughing and chatting on the porch, and when I came out to say goodbye they enveloped me in hugs and explained that it wasn’t raining in Åseral, but that they were simply tears from heaven. Tears because we were leaving this little town. I agreed, and promised that we’d come back again.
*All photos taken by me unless otherwise stated. Please ask permission before using.