In a little over 24 hours we have had glimpses of all four seasons.
On Tuesday evening we had the deep pink eastern skies which appear as the sun is setting in the west. Then yesterday morning we awoke to a crisp but misty autumn day, although the sun soon burnt off the damp. By lunchtime there was brilliant ‘summer’ sunshine, so Sarah and I had a walk down to the beach. The water was clear and inviting, with fish swimming and a lot of jelly fish (less inviting) – unfortunately there wasn’t really time for a swim, although it was very tempting! Walking a little further we has a view of Senja, with snowy mountains at the back (winter at a distance) and trees ranging from bright spring green to rich autumn orange. Back in our offices, we had the autumn sun on the trees just outside.
The evening was cold with clear skies, and as we left choir practice at about 10pm the whole of the southern half of the sky was dancing with the stars and a spectacular display of North Lights which lasted about an hour. Watching them over the sea is even better with the reflection. It is hard to do justice to their beauty with still images, as the lights fade and move. Once again the words of the psalmist, King David, came alive before our eyes:
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
Himmelen kunngjør Guds ære,
hvelvingen forteller hva hans hender har gjort.
Dagen lar sin tale strømme til dag,
natt gir sin kunnskap til natt.
Det er ingen tale og ingen ord.
Stemmene kan ikke høres.
Men de når ut over hele jorden,
ordene når dit verden ender.
The third verse particularly struck me: before coming to Norway we had only ever seen the lights on TV, accompanied by the obligatory sound effects and music, so it seems a little odd that the experience here is silent.
What an amazing place to live and how amazing is God, that all this is made and continues, regardless of mankind – but we are indeed privileged to see it.