The Oak of a thousand years
The big pilgrimage destinations, such as Mekka, Jesusalem, Santiago de Compostela, Cavadonga, Iona….have got much in common concerning the wandering path itself… there are sculptures, crosses or other ‘marks’ at the roadsides. The pilgrimage path from the centre of Balestrand to Kvamsøy has got one item in particular; a natual sculpture: ‘The Målsnes oak’. She is unique, she is among the oldest trees in the whole Norway.
‘The tree on the top of the mound’ has a special aim about itself. This tree was planted og growing wildly from a seed b e f o r e Norway had become one unit, a land with one king! The oak has been witness many a hard worksman… has seten travelling people from foreign countries passing by boats on the fjord. King Sigurd sailed to the battle i Frønningen in 1184 … and maybe he looked on to the young oak tree while praying for his country and its folk….. She has been a vitness to ‘all’ happenings going on here… has seen mark stones being put in to the ground… , children playing on the ground and climbing the branches… Its crown has been given shelter to grassing sheep and many a tired worker have sat down a while resting the back at the solid bole… even though ‘the wind caught the tree top’ and many a gust has tried to break it… Tusenårseika at Målsnes is standing!
During our work with the project Pilegrimage Balestrand we have been dealing with really good property owners who willingly share some wonderful natur pearls with us all. We experienced it in Kvamsøy, as I have told in an earlier blog. Now we are meeting with the same sharing attitude; they see the value for people in Balestrand as well as our many visitors from abroad. …they have an eye for participating… and to ‘pull’ together, then ‘great deed can be achieved’… in modern language: it is a ‘vin-vin’ situaion….Soon the pilgrimage path will be ready…. Oh what a day!