“It seemed, to me, the center of the universe. An old, but well cared for wooden sign bearing my name ushered us down a perfectly straight gravel road, lined on each side with small trees that bid us further. Their leaves danced to the tune of the wind. The falling sun met the wheat fields, coloring them a vibrant orange and sending bursts of autumn colors through the sky. Opaque clouds on a light blue canvas glowed gold in the brilliance of the sun. Cool wind carrying the smell of soil came across the wheat fields, swaying each bushel, creating a rolling ocean of orange and brown. The fields rushed up towards the farmhouse, meeting dense, freshly mown, wet grass that glistened with the light of the falling sun, each drop of moisture a tiny mirror of the landscape before me. Among the grass stood apple trees, their branches reaching towards the sky, as a child reaches for its mother’s hand. The green apples, hung from wooden arms, seemed to be nature’s ornaments, celebrating a personal holiday, the day of my arrival.”
My curiosity about other countries, languages, and ways of thinking urges me to look outward into the world. Naturally, that gaze turns inward as well. Who am I? Where did I come from? How did my family end up here? Those very questions breathed into life my family’s trip to Norway. The Skramstad family has a fascinating Norwegian history, and we felt that it was vital that we should explore our beginnings. Traveling to Norway unearthed the roots of my family tree, serving my greatest interests.
Traveling abroad has always been an insatiable thirst that I have been lucky enough to quench throughout my life, and if my luck holds out, I will serve that yearning again and again. One of the greatest joys of traveling, for me, is the immersion not only into other cultures and ways of thinking, but into other languages. To hear your native tongue, especially a unique language such as Norwegian, is both incredibly foreign to the ear and yet strangely familiar. Nevertheless, I’m thrilled to be injected into foreign places and surrounded by different languages. But in Norway, there was something more; I was connected to the country by years of rich history and a farm that has been passed down through the generations. As we talked with our relatives there, we were steeped in the fascinating history of our family and the Farm.
In the words of Albert Camus, “creating is living twice,” and thus the beauty of my family’s farm in Norway, the Skramstad farm, what we have created, necessitates description above. Not only am I compelled to share its wonder, but I am pleased to do so, for in describing it I create a piece of work to be proud of and to satiate an important ambition of mine: artistic expression. The entire country seems as if a creation of an artist, a work of art, where an author would take you in a book. As soon as I arrived at the farm, I was urged to describe it in the written word, and the product of that artistic urge is what is featured above.