Arctic Spring

We we say it’s a beautiful spring day, we don’t mean green grass and budding flowers.  This is what 71 degrees north looks like, six days before the calendar reads May 1st.


Catch the Sun

Arctic inhabitants have a special relationship with the sun.  Its 2-month absence creates a deep longing in the core of our being, and an overwhelming appreciation when we’re reunited.  Tears and smiles, elation and gratitude rise within us as the blazing star shines upon us.


Catch the Sun

When the sun smiles, smile back.

When it warms your face, let your heart be warmed as well.

Catch the sun.  Hold it tight. Don’t ever let it go.

In the secret places of your mind, hide the precious moments of sunshine,

Mid-summer strolls, giggling children and barefoot toes.

Because the stormy days will come,

The winds will wail and blow,

And the sun will bid us farewell.

Catch the sun.  Hold it tight. Don’t ever let it go.

(Erica K. Haugli, 2015) 

I wrote this poem 10 months before cancer blew into our world.  A premonition?  My subconscious preparing me for the storm that lay ahead?  I’m not sure of the answer, but today, as then, it is a reminder to hold on to the golden moments: Simple or grand, ordinary or extraordinary.

Catch the sun.  Hold it tight. Don’t ever let it go.

North Cape and the Midnight Sun




Captured Moments

Cancer has a way of putting priorities straight.   One’s “to-do” list is shaken and sifted, insignificant plans and goals disappear immediately.  There’s no doubt what’s most important.


Capturing moments with our family has had an urgency about it.  From the first day of my diagnosis, I’ve been deliberate about photographing this journey – our family’s story.  The ups and downs of this unexpected path.  Precious moments spent together.

And there’s laughter, in spite of the pain.


Silliness, in the midst of the serious.


Peace in the swirling chaos.


Joy in between the sorrow.

Strength in togetherness.


And hope as we face the future .


May our moments be many.

(Photos taken on excursions to  Kongsfjord GuesthouseBerlevågPorsanger FjordMagerøyaNorth Cape, Norway.)

Believe in Adventure

There are days we replay in our minds countless times, dwelling on the joy and laughter they contained.  The discovery of a new place, a sandy beach on the shores of the Barents Sea.   Hunting for shells, polished sea glass… a message in a bottle.  On a magical day last August, our beach combing lead us to an unexpected gift from an unknown stranger:

“Believe in…adventure, yourself, love, honesty, people, the earth, nature, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, the King”

Yes!  Let’s live our days, recapturing our childlike wonder at the world around us.  Let’s dare to dream, seek out adventure, believe in the impossible.  Let’s love, laugh, dance and skip. Let’s look for and appreciate the beauty in one another.  There are treasures waiting to be discovered.





(Photos are taken on a beach between Berlevåg and Kongsfjord, on the coast of the Barents Sea.)

Ancient Messengers

It’s not surprising ancient myths tell of cormorants bearing mysterious messages.  With silky black wings glistening in the sunshine; long, lean necks raised towards the sky; they exude an air of royalty and otherworldliness.  One’s fantasy begins to weave tales.

Kongsfjord Gjesthus, Finnmark, Norway (Cormorant – Reflections)

Some believe if a cormorant visits your home, it’s carrying with it a message from a loved one that has already passed to the world beyond.


In the Norwegian folktale, The Cormorants of Utrøst, a fishermen spies three of these creatures in the eye of a storm, and soon after finds safety on a mysterious island called Utrøst.


What tales will the cormorants tell this year?

Waiting for the messengers

We’re waiting.