A hurricane storm is raging with wildness outside, winds gusting over 30 m/s which is close to 60 mph-120km/hr. Force 11 on the Beaufort scale. So powerful it keeps us inside and behind the 90-year old wooden walls as it thunders and shakes inside Bamsebu. The cold air weaves into every crack, sneaking its way in. It’s cold here, jackets on, wood stove burning, candles lit.

Yesterday’s tasks included making sure every single log, tool, box, piece of gear and coolers were secured and tied down so the wind would not claim it in with a sudden snap with its violent grip. About a week ago the ice in the fjord froze over, creaking and groaning as she lays herself over the salty sea. We are very isolated.

Sounds here are so distinct and speak volumes. With an iced in fjord we know it’s easier for the polar bears to make their way straight to us. We discovered tracks from two different polar bears yesterday – bear prints that led to our boats, our food outside, and Ettra’s shelter. One polar bear is young and one about mid-size we think. Different tracks than from the previous polar bears. Heartbeats pound with thoughts of how vulnerable we are, how easy it is to suddenly be “displaced” and in dangers’ path. How fast the weather changes, how powerful she, “Mother Nature,” is. What is she telling us?

A storm of a different sort is raging in Australia taking the words burning, displaced, vulnerable and climate chaos to a new level. It is devastating beyond words. While we do have satellite connectivity up here we are not on the internet, but are thankful for close friends that live Down Under have shared some news with us, and that they are safe in the path of fire.

Leadership in times of great change, violence and climate chaos are ever more important. As Martin Luther King said in his speech to the nation “Embody the power of love.” This is what we need from our leaders today – we need to hold them accountable to make decisions from a place of integrity, compassion, care for each other and yes, love.
Not from a place of fear and power.
We can only hold others accountable if we hold ourselves accountable.
We – Hearts in the Ice – are not trying to change the world, but we are working to lift us all up into a place of kindness, caring and hopefulness.

Storms also rage inside of us. The kind of storm inside our minds and hearts when we feel lost, hopeless, when we have lost someone we love to illness, age or suicide, when what we have is suddenly taken from us, when our ability to move is gone, when we find ourselves no longer able to care about anything, not even ourselves.
In Norway they speak of “å bry seg” which means to “give a care.”
Every New Year’s Eve the King of Norway, Kong Harald, gives a speech to the 5-million countrymen via TV called “Kongens Tale”. His speech December 31st 2019 included the following “My wish tonight is that hope carries us all into the New year…We know so little about what shall meet us on our path….this unknown makes us all vulnerable…..the best we can do is to be there for each other, see each other, remember to share positive words. And when needed, to carry each other.”

“We must live with the fact that we are all different,
We must accept inconvenient truths,
We must be able see outside of our own little tiny spaces,
We must realize that our world view just might not be the only view.
And yes, we must accept that we will be challenged, even hurt ”

Powerful words to kickoff 2020.

Collectively we have come a long way, but we still have far to go as it relates to humanity at this time of climate despair, as many call it. It is so easy to feel completely overwhelmed by what is happening around us, inside us. If you want to save something, love it. If you want to help someone love them. We protect what we love.

Turn despair into hope. ‘Bry deg’. Give a care.

We want to encourage all to engage and help those in Australia. “Hearts in the Ice” has pledged to donate 10 000 NOK/1500$ and invite anyone to make a donation to one of these entities, recommended by dear friends living in Sydney:
Help save Kangaroo Island’s koalas and wildlife
Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities
WIRES Emergency Fund for Wildlife

So what about the weather in Svalbard – what does this tell us?
Here are words from one of our experts:
“Svalbard literally is where the Gulf Stream dead ends. Most people realize that the Gulf Stream is a major ocean current bringing warm Atlantic waters toward Europe: making areas that otherwise would be chilly (given their latitude) much more temperate. We know that most of the warming of our planet (due to increasing, excess greenhouse gases) is being absorbed by our oceans thus far, in fact recent studies point to about 90%. Think of that for a moment: the planet is heating up, but what we’re experiencing in the air so far is the tip of the ice berg of heat content. What this means for Svalbard is that the Gulf Stream, which gives it a very mild climate by arctic standards, is thrusting even more heat at it. This is why we talk about the Arctic as warming at twice the rate of the global average, but Svalbard is four times faster – literally one of the fastest changing places on the planet (in terms of climate change).”

Weather is our theme for the hosted school calls in January (14 and 30th), our guest experts include George Kournouris, Sven Sundgaard and Siri Kalvig. – please help us to get school kids involved (no cost for the calls) and you can also join in via a live You Tube link. Check the link and please spread the word.

Big hugs, Sunniva and Hilde

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