Life here has been all about pattern disruption.
The way we lived a year ago is worlds apart from the way we have lived here at Bamsebu for the past 9 months. There is no excess here. No excess distraction, no excess consumerism, no excess waste and no excess use of resources. We are actively participating in the shadows of the light, darkness, life and death all within the rhythms of our day.
Mother earth seems to have put the world in a ‘time out’ with this virus. Her defense mechanisms activated while we all come face to face with our own vulnerability and mortality.

Physical death is one thing as we all do what is necessary to stay safe and healthy.
As we all hopefully work to keep each other safe and our communities and systems functioning.
There is another type of death that happens outside of our physical death that is taking place now. That is the death or displacement of our comfort zones, our false sense of security around finances, access to food, health care and our governments.

We took a different sort of “time out” from our otherwise regular lives to come here to Bamsebu – far north to 78’. We have been faced with visible threats here while things like the Covid-19 virus present us with an invisible threat.

Fear is often the great motivator and paralyser. There aren’t many people we know that move towards fear. But courage is on the other side of fear. Moving towards courage, feeling a little fear, stepping out of your comfort zone, is what connects us all to what is around us and within us. Connection is what we need!

We have lived for roughly 100 days in complete utter darkness with no external light whatsoever. None, except for the awe-inspiring northern lights. Otherwise, pitch black. We have felt fear to the bone. The very fact of being here so far away from anyone for those many days of darkness with literally nowhere to go, brings out all of our deepest and darkest fears as we are faced with real visible threats in the way of a polar bear or the invisible threats that exists in our head – everything you cannot see yet you are certain is there. Somewhere. Out. There.

We have learned much about ourselves through those long arduous 100 days of what is referred to as the “Polar Night”. We have danced with our fears and insecurities – allowed them to visit us on the mental and emotional inside, never letting them stay too long.
We are deeply connected to the cycles of life and death here around Bamsebu.
This very connection to the natural world around us brings us to the truth that nothing is permanent and nothing is guaranteed. It brings us to other truths as well – that life is a profound gift and every single breath we take is a privilege.
Now that the light has returned, it shed another truth. Things are out of balance.

Question for all of us. Why do our reactions not invoke a sense of fear around things we see as it relates to climate change? Is it that we choose not to see? Plastics in the oceans, wildfires and forest fires, increases in temperature, floods, decreasing icecaps, imbalance in biodiversity of species, our very soils starving for water, lives lost, species lost, communities of people displaced. Some of these impacts are visible and some are invisible but the facts remain. Our natural world is in a pattern interruption that it cannot sustain any longer.
Without a dramatic move beyond ‘business as usual’ the current severe decline of the natural systems that support modern societies will continue – with serious consequences for nature and people. We must not let that happen under our watch!

The communication we have with each other, with Ettra, the wildlife in our backyard, the spaces we explore, the tundra we walk on and all that we observe daily – our connections are key to us living in harmony and alignment. We are part of this and this is part of us. We all thrive in alignment!

Enjoying “spring” time in the Arctic. We’re out of fresh fruit, but can’t complain.

We have been reduced and stripped as we have melted into the landscape. We understand how very minuscule we are in this grand world. We have also been strengthened by engaging and trying to understand our place in this “big picture”. We understand how very powerful we are. We know that we all have the power to create lasting change for the sake of our environment, for the sake of humanity.

Many have asked us if we have food and supplies to extend our stay here through September 2020. While we have run out of fresh fruits, vegetables, milk and soon coffee (help!) we do have enough to sustain us. We have borne witness to the cycles of life and death up here and summer is here with a tundra and ocean teeming with life. The belugas are back in the fjord, the geese and reindeer are grazing, and the ice is officially all gone from the fjord that once locked us in. We feed off this visual abundance and eat packaged and canned food and it is all okay!

Communication with all of you is an important and vital link to sharing our purpose and citizen science work. We are the first civilians to use the Thales MCD Mission Link that connects us to all of you. This is a 16kg device that has never been tested this far north, in these conditions for such a long period of time. It was designed for commercial use for the maritime and shipping industry and clearly not designed nor intended for the two of us here at Bamsebu. It doesn’t come cheaply.
As we continue to engage, observe, collect and share our findings with all worlds outside of Bamsebu – we all calling on your help to continue as data communication remains our biggest hurdle and expense. Please consider supporting in any amount through our GoFundMe-page.

We spent ten minutes rubbish picking the other day, and quickly found lots of plastic, that doesn’t belong on the shores of Svalbard. Pick up your trash!

Our social media team of Maria Philippa and Pascale Lortie share your comments, letters and emails with us so please continue to stay in touch. Communication can reconnect us all. To quote Plato “Be kind, for everyone is fighting a great battle”. Write that letter, email, make that phone call, listen to the sounds of summer knocking like the birds signing in the trees, the bounty of strawberries or the sweet smell of the forest and freshly cut grass.
Collect some plastic waste from the ocean, join a citizen science project or join in with some of the Global Initiatives in support of “World Oceans Week” (ie: June 1 – June 8th. Also check out our latest media stories, the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet and a Radio Canada interview (in French).

Mother Nature is listening. What do you have to say?

Big hugs, Sunniva and Hilde

We need your support! Your contribution will enable “Hearts in the Ice” to grow their reach and mission! Check out our fundraiser.


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