text and images britt-arnhild
From the cabin we can see deep into the bay. Through all seasons. The wind can blow freshly here, and storms pass by from time to time. But mostly the water is still and beautiful, like the spring day when this photo was taken.
Some 80 years ago, grand uncle Sivert, grandpa Johannes´brother, could be seen on this fjord. Alone he was on his way to his brother, as he had heard that he had extra grass to feed the animals. It was early spring, the grass was not growing yet and the winter had been long and hard. On top of this there was no money to buy grass.
Sivert had no choice. He got the boat out, hoping for wind so he could use the sail, which he got at least for part of the way, but mostly he used his two arms and a pair of oars. 10-12 hours each way, as Johannes and his family lived far away. An empty boat on the way down, a boat filled to the brim with grass on the way back.
Sivert was a man of few words.
In the 1960ies he was interviewed on the radio about this struggle to get food for the cattles. The interview has been written down and I can read it in the annual historical magazine of Aure.
It looks like Sivert wants to forget it all. It must have been too hard.
In the end of the interview he confesses "after I came home it took me 10 days to become myself again"
I met Sivert once when I was a teenager. I had no idea about this struggle then, nor about what it was to live and fight on a small farm along the coast of Norway around 1930. How I wish that I could meet him again today. Together with grandpa Johannes, their other siblings, their parents. There is so much I would like to ask about.
Life is so easy today, at least here in my corner of the world.
And even at Rastarbo, our cabin, where we live the simple life, where we have no electricity and have to get water from an old well away from the cabin. Life is still easy.
Last weekend, when I did the dishes, I thought of Sivert and his contemporaries.
How was their life. Their struggles. Their joys.
Sometimes I wish that my binoculars could take me back in time.
Would I see Sivert and his boat then?