Serendipity is delightful! We were driving on a forested road back to our cabin after a demanding and rewarding hike to the top of a peak overlooking the fjord, the valleys and layer upon layer of mountains. Why am I not writing to you about that impressive scene? We planned it, we persevered, and we conquered it. We have bragging rights.
The answer is this: Serendipity. Something caught my eye, something unusual. Martin pulled the car over. He started towards the overlook. “No,” I called, “it’s over here.” We looked down at a steep gorge, with flat rocks that tumbled in every imaginable angle and massive rectangles of stone making deranged stair steps. It looked as though a mighty castle had been swept off a high cliff by Thor himself, and had crashed in pieces down a plunging chute. Here was a a suggestion of an ancient stone wall, there was a ledge like a rampart, here was a giant cornerstone thrown by some unfathomable force greater than anything we have ever witnessed.
All this was remarkable. But it was the very absence of something that was even more amazing. One would expect to see in such a precipitous gorge deep, churning water gushing down the mountain. Not so. Water languidly pooled and gurgled and slowly made its way down, no deeper than a foot or two. In this wild place, forged with huge forces, there was calm.
And there was something else even more extraordinary: Bright green, spongy mosses covered the banks with tufts a foot deep. Everything was blanketed in nature’s velvet. Below, every rock wore its mantle of green. Walking across a six-foot slab in the gorge was like stepping from a shower onto a plush bathmat. What looked treacherous from above, when encountered up close, became a benign paradise. You could step from one stone to the next without ever touching water, without fear of slipping. Up ahead, a place where you might plunge to your death in a cascade of water. No, merely natural steps leading to the next calm pool, spread with spongy green cushions.
We could have whizzed by in our car. Instead, we looked twice. A few minutes turned into an hour. We happened upon this place where everything was not as you would expect. A place of dreams. The spawning ground of nymphs.