First trip to the cabin

A couple of weeks ago the sun came back from hibernation, and my online life went AWOL. I’ve been so busy doing fun things (journalling mostly, which I will show in another post) because I’ve finally had some energy.

But I still wanted to show you the pictures from this year’s first trip to the cabin which took place two weeks ago. A bit late, I know, but everything looks more or less the same now, except the snow is starting to melt really fast! So this may be my last proper winter photos for a while as we move into what we call spring-winter (gotta have a name for when it’s sunny but still cold, ya know).

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Well, the cabin is still standing. No broken windows, no leaky roof.

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We had to shovel our way inside, but it’s been so cold this year that the snow is really light and fluffy, none of that heavy, icy, slushy stuff.

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Virginal snow.

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Plip, plop. Spring approaches one drop at a time.

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When the snow is this deep, you have to keep to the snow mobile tracks or you sink down to your knees in fluffy crystals. You also have to watch where you place your chair…

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Just posin’ on my own…

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We made a fire and grilled a couple of sausages. Life’s good!

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Bright like a knife

There’s something very sharp about the winter sun: it cuts through landscapes of black, blue, and white, separating forest from snowy meadow and sky.

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There is no hesitation and no blurry edges. Everything is the sum of what remains when you remove what it’s not.

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Geometrical patterns. Frozen moments in time – the flow of brownish water caught in the moment of falling, like stalactites out in the open.

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The sky is endless.

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The ice is thick.

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It hangs on roofs like winter’s promise of spring – because the only way an icicle can form is if the sun is warm enough to melt the snow.

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The sun doesn’t wait

In my last post I talked about how the road will wait for you while you give yourself the rest you need. But there’s something else that doesn’t wait, and if you want to catch it, you have to agree to its terms…

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The sun.

Now, I’m the first person to rebel against the idea that “The sun is out, so you have to go out too”. But if you long for the light, here’s a thought: grab it while it lasts.

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Your duties may have deadlines, but so does life. Maybe it’s time to take that break and give yourself a reward.

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Is the sky blue today?

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Is the world an open book, glittering brightly?

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The time for twinkling snow flakes will be over before you know it. The time for moving freely through the woods will be over before you know it.

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If you can, steal that moment today. Because on your deathbed, you won’t regret the time you went out to see the world.

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Misty dusk

Some days are heavy and dark.

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You move like a somnambulist through your life. You don’t see your path.

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Everything is a bluish grey, and the lines all seem blurred.

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It’s the ebb and flow of energy, the presence and absence of light. It’s the long sleep before renewal.

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What if you too dared to follow that ebb and flow, if you dared to take the time to rest?

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The road will still be there when you come back.

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You know, I really am quite lucky to have “thinking” be a part of my job description. Today was bright and sunny, so I took my embryonic ideas with me into the forest and snapped a few pictures while I mulled over them.

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Some tiny creature passed this way before me. 🙂

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There’s something so special about snow that falls when it’s really cold. It’s so dry somehow, and sparkly and just… otherworldly. Filming it doesn’t make it justice by a long shot.

Six months to Midsummer

This post and the links in it contain advertisements for my books.

This. This slope, covered now in snow, is the spot where Artedi was born. This very spot is where Christer and Henrik get a second chance in The Seventh Flower.

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An appropriate place for two people who – what are the odds? – both have a thing for the enduring friendship between Linnaeus and Artedi. These two lovers of history.

These two lovers.

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I’m a sucker for time. The wings of history, comparing then and now… And this frozen field where nothing grows – in half a year, it will be covered in grass and wild flowers. In just six months, the sun will only set a few hours over this spot. Now it only shines at midday.

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The rays are so yellow, so tired. The sun climbs just over the horizon and then sets again, too exhausted to stay, and the light never reaches its full potential. Just this yellow-pink, golden glow that leaves as soon as it touches the crystallized trees.

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To think that this is the landscape where Christer drives his car through the bright early morning mist, searching for Henrik! The landscape where they watch the sun rise together – at half past two in the morning.

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It’s frozen. Dead. Silent.

Beautiful.

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And in just six months, it will all be green again.

Out of the tunnel

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Last year at this time I was sick with untreated hypothyroidism, my father in law was dying, I was preparing for my nerve-wracking defense, I had severe back-ache and knew I’d probably have to (reluctantly!) change jobs.

Not a good time. I felt like a ghost in my own life.

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And yet I made this video (with a cold!) to explain the phenomenon of Swedish Lucia that always falls on December 13. (And which will have to suffice this year too because I’ve been too busy to make a new one.)

My year since then has been… interesting. January was a complete disaster in every respect, and each month that followed it brought a fresh new twist (of the knife). My back got better, then worse, then better, then worse, etc etc ad nauseam. I got diagnosed with hypothyroidism and got medication. Other stuff happened. I got my good job back again. It was fun and hard and a little bit frightening.

And in the end, it seems I’m destined to survive 2017. Maybe in hindsight, it’ll be the best thing that ever happened. Because now I’m here, soon a one-year-old in academic terms, and I’m not the same person I was then. I’ve even made peace with a certain TV series that broke my heart the very first day of January and then proceeded to royally fuck with my head for longer than I care to admit.

And as we enter the darkest week of the year, I see more light than ever before.

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Oh my God, finally! We’ve only had clouds, clouds, and more clouds for longer than I care to count. And okay, yes, we need clouds if we want snow, but come on. The sun is only up for four and a half hours this time of year, so a sun that’s actually visible is very much appreciated.

And today it was. I headed out before lunch to catch some rays before they disappeared behind the mountains. I chased the sun up snowy forest hillsides and got all wet and cold and snowy, but lord was it worth it. Everything was so beautiful.

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Frozen droplets in the trees.

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Yellow rays on the bluish snow.

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Mist over the snowy lake.

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Fluffy clusters of ice crystals in the trees.

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Clouds turning pink as the sun disappeared behind the tree tops at one o’clock.

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And on the subject of ‘the things we do for a photo’…

But it was a wonderful day that really wiped my soul clean of all the weariness I was carrying around. Now I’m tired in a more physical way, which is better. Time for some mulled wine and Christmas decorating!