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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Crystalfall

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.

Wolf winter

So this year is a real “wolf winter” with lots of snow and cold. Way overdue if you ask me. The only thing that makes six months of darkness worth it is the glitter of snow and days like this, when an icy breath rises from the stream and hovers in the sunlight.

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DSC_0115I love when the sunlight picks out each branch and twig in the forest. It happens on days when they’re covered in frost.

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But a winter like this also brings specific challenges. Snow weighs a lot, so today we had to remove some of it from the balcony so it wouldn’t break!

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We borrowed this electric thingumajig from a friend to deal with the worst of it, but I also used a big bucket meant for making wine. Use what you’ve got!

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Phew.

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And afterwards, make sure you hang your clothes up to dry!

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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.

Shower the world…

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There’s a Tori Amos song that tells us to shower the world in pink and glitter, and that’s exactly what the weather gods are doing here. Every day is like a study in pink. The sun just barely makes it over the horizon for a short time between ten and two, but the reward is that every hour is golden.

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Frozen beard lichen hangs from every pine tree bough. The rising sun filters through the needles.

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It’s just cold enough to freeze the droplets but not enough to melt them. Absolutely wonderful. Some of them look like Christmas tree decorations where they hang in the fir branches. I went a little crazy with the camera when I saw it, so bear with me… 🙂

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But I must admit I was glad that there was a kettle to switch on when I got home, because the cold tends to creep into your very marrow. It’s beautiful but not harmless, you know? And maybe that’s part of the charm: a terrible beauty that you must watch from a distance in order not to get hurt. Look but don’t touch. 🙂

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Morning sparkle

We finally had a morning of sunlight and frost again, and although I’ve got a cold that makes my throat feel like a razor-legged scarab is trying to claw itself out, I went for my usual walk. The hedgerows were awash with glitter and gold.

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Overblown beaked parsley stretching its crown like tiny hands towards the sun. 🙂

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Or balancing the golden ball on its fingertips.

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Everything leaning into the light. Me included.

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Shades of winter

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Grey, grey, grey. We’re living in a black and white movie.

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The sky is overcast and it never really feels like we have daylight. Kind of like Mordor – but nicer!

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Because since we finally have a layer of snow, the world is brighter than before. It makes such a difference. The deleafed trees tower over me as I take my usual walk through the woods. Tall and slim, they resemble the grass in the hedgerow, only a lot bigger.

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Twigs and branches are laden with snow, and the ice is slowly covering the lakes and streams, inching a little further over the surface each night.

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