“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” –Henry David Thoreau
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.” –Douglas Adams
the other afternoon we were driving home from running errands. my husband noticed our daughter, kaya, was asleep and so he suggested we try the scenic route home since we are still new to our island of osterøy. when we came to the crossroad we had two options: to take the milkman/bus route, or go in the opposite direction and see what lay beyond. in the past few months living on osterøy we noticed that the roads on our island all seem to go in circles, so we decided to explore. we figured we would get back to lonevåg eventually. after driving along sea cliffs overlooking the icy fjord for about twenty minutes we reached the small city of bruvik. at that point we had another juncture.
we still hadnʻt bought a gps yet and our map function on our phones were inaccessible due to being in the middle of nowhere, so we chose to go with our naʻau (hawaiian loosely translated–guts, soul, intuition). after driving up a curvy mountain road for another twenty minutes we saw a man and his dog standing at a bend. we stopped and my husband asked for directions to lonevåg because i still canʻt speak norsk. the man laughed at us and told us to turn around.
at this point, we had been driving for over forty minutes in one direction and we really did not want to just make a u-turn and go back the same way. so my husband pressed the man for another option. the man explained that there was a way. but it was not an easy route. it was not paved and you needed to pay a toll as well. but we figured, anything was better than going backwards, so adventurous pioneers that we are, we decided to give it a try.
within a few minutes we were already grateful for our choice. we stumbled upon a winter wonderland. stunning views of the water, snowcapped mountains, icicles larger than people (this is especially awesome when you keep in mind that i am from hawaiʻi), and pine trees stretching out towards infinity. kaya woke up half way through the drive and although she normally hates being in the car, even she could appreciate the magical scenery. she “oohed and awed” her way back to “civilization.” it took us over one hundred minutes longer to get back to the farm, but every minute was worth it. life is often that way.
as i was uploading pictures from our journey onto the computer a couple days later my husband and i started discussing the importance of getting “lost.” now if any girl knows “lost,” i do. it is the story of my life. i mean for most people, just being here in norway, could be defined as being seriously lost. what is a hawaiian girl from the ghetto (yes, you read that right. ghetto–not paradise) think sheʻs doing living on a dairy farm in the norwegian countryside? but it is much more than that. my entire life has revolved around being lost and found. ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you about my arduous journey to where i am now as one being jam-packed full of detours, potholes, and even landslides. my story would be like mario kart (yes iʻm old) where you are racing on one of those wildly nightmarish courses and simultaneously watching out for banana peels, and other players shooting at you with turtle shells, or striking you with lightning. or (for those of you not of my generation) i also imagine it as one of those traffic advisories that tell you to not attempt to drive anywhere and just stay home. two easy examples: 1) graduating law school, passing the bar, then realizing that i hated lawyers (maybe I always knew that), and 2) falling in love with a viking who lived almost 7,000 miles away (and these are the public-ready illustrations, believe me it gets much, much more dirty and juicy).
now as a mother, i will never insist on kaya sticking to one path (yes, iʻm thinking of that cliché) because i know how important it is for her to get lost so that she can be found. and so this post is just a reminder to myself, to my family, and to whoever else, that we should all get lost sometime. itʻs good for the soul.