Saturday, July 7, 2007

Looking for the Past


After 155 years, you'd think I could wait just a few more minutes to spot the land of my ancestors. But with my cheek pressed tightly against the window, I scan through the carpet of clouds which covers the coast of Norway for some hint of green. Like my great great grandparents on the ship out of Bergen, I'm looking for that promised land.

I sat next to the window on the leg out of Munich so I could see what Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway look like from up above. The flight from San Francisco took us over the pole at night, and we all tried to sleep for the eleven hours. A small sillouette of a plane on a television screen kept us informed of our location as we passed Canada, Iceland, Greenland, and Great Britain.

I didn't pay much attention to Germany as we headed north to Hanover and the Danish border. We were far above the clouds that had been pelting the Wimbledon Tennis Championships earlier this week, as they now crossed over into northern Europe. It was only as we reached the northern border of Denmark, and the sea, that I caught glimpses of land. One patch of industrial windmills caught my eye, as well as many ships navigating the islands on its edge. And thenit was lots of blue sea.

But now, with only a thousand feet between me and the cloud layer, I ache for the pilot to dip below so I can catch the first sight of Norway's green and brown turf. After years of research, and dreams of walking through small farms with the names of my family, I just know they're down there somewhere.

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