Living close to Norway’s longest, finest beach does have its perks. For one, I can stand in the water, hands in the pockets of my khaki shorts, pondering life, the universe and everything, having the water freeze away my toes at the same time as catching a sunstroke on my forehead.
To me, that is. My six-year-old daughter sees me doing it every time we come here, always wanting to join in, but never quite managing to get into the cold water.
“Come on.” I say. “Just hop in.”
“Hop in? You ain’t been hopping into anything, dad. You just stand there with the water up to the ankles.”
I continue standing there in the midnight sun, contemplating the fact that I have just passed the magic number explaining everything. I am 43 years of age. While I think thoughts of thinking, I do not notice that she stands next to me. I start. She laughs.
“That blue colour, though.” she says. I wait for her to finish the sentence. She does not finish it, but laughs. “Daddy, my legs!”
“Hey, who folded your legs?!??” I ask. She freezes. Quite apparently she thinks of something else.
“What do you mean?!” she asks.
“If you fold them a little more, you can make a paper plane out of them.”
“Pfft.” she says and jumps around in the shallow water, stopping only to feel the sand between her toes.
“Mine are folded like that, too. I say and point downwards. Like a piece of paper.”
She pfft-s once more and continues hopping around like a hare on rabies. Then she stumbles and falls face first into an oncoming wave.
Ten seconds later, she sits in the sand on the beach, shivering. I wade out of the water and up the beach. For some reason, she has not put the towel around herself. I try to rectify this.
“No.” she complains, taking the towel and putting it around her shoulders herself. Then she turns around and does something only kids at that age can do. She goes from the deepest form of disgust to beautiful bliss.
“Did you know”, she says, “that water doesn’t have any colour when you’re inside it?!”
Her eyes positively beam at me. It takes me a moment to realise what she has said.
“It isn’t blue at all, you know. Why do they draw the sea blue? Like, always. But it isn’t blue at all!”
She continues her rant of revelation for a while. I am proud of her, but what should I say – when she gets as far as wanting me to say anything that is? Then:
“I wouldn’t drink blue water anyway!” she says. “I don’t like that weird juice either.”
“I’m with you on that.”
That was that, as they say here. Oh, and if you are interested, here is an explanation as to why water looks blue or any other colour sometimes.