Discovering a new language and culture in Om, Denmark


In a few days, It will be a year since I arrived, a year that has passed very quickly. It has been a full and surprising year of trying to “taste” everything possible and everything offered to me both in Øm and in Copenhagen. There would be so much - too much – to tell. It has been like a doorstep, a time of preparation to learn to let the beauty of the nature, at once both wild and domesticated, work on me, as well as community life, the country, and the language. The beauty of the nature is like a cloak that envelops, draws one’s eyes to the discretely present, the invisible, and little by little calls me to a conversion of heart and of what I do. In this beauty, there is light. In winter it is often “somber” and the lamps are lit almost all day long, inside the house as well as outside. Electric lights. Candles, too, on the window sills, on the tables. Lights that flicker in the woods or along the roads wherever there are houses. I hear the psalmist or the brothers of Taize singing: “The darkness is not dark for you, and the night is as clear as the day.”
Danish is an amazing language with its very special sounds, rhythm and music. For most of those who use it, it is a language which cannot be learned in a short time. I feel transformed into a snail, often going nowhere, withdrawing into my shell when I absolutely understands so little most all of the time, and walking with delight when “it works” and I do understand. The temptation to discouragement is always on the lookout for a good opportunity. It takes vigilance. Like Abraham, like Mary, I must be convinced that “God fulfils what he has promised.”