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.
There is no hesitation and no blurry edges. Everything is the sum of what remains when you remove what it’s not.
Geometrical patterns. Frozen moments in time – the flow of brownish water caught in the moment of falling, like stalactites out in the open.
The sky is endless.
The ice is thick.
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.
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…
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.
Your duties may have deadlines, but so does life. Maybe it’s time to take that break and give yourself a reward.
Is the sky blue today?
Is the world an open book, glittering brightly?
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.
If you can, steal that moment today. Because on your deathbed, you won’t regret the time you went out to see the world.
Some days are heavy and dark.
You move like a somnambulist through your life. You don’t see your path.
Everything is a bluish grey, and the lines all seem blurred.
It’s the ebb and flow of energy, the presence and absence of light. It’s the long sleep before renewal.
What if you too dared to follow that ebb and flow, if you dared to take the time to rest?
The road will still be there when you come back.
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.
Frozen droplets in the trees.
Yellow rays on the bluish snow.
Mist over the snowy lake.
Fluffy clusters of ice crystals in the trees.
Clouds turning pink as the sun disappeared behind the tree tops at one o’clock.
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!
The darkest, longest night of the year is past. Now we change course and move towards the sun again. Every day, the world will become a little brighter.
It couldn’t come at a more fitting time for me. Last Friday, it was the day of my defense. In hindsight, I realize that I’ve been under more pressure about this than I thought – and I was aware of quite a lot of pressure! It feels as if for five years, I’ve slowly, excruciatingly rolled up in a tight ball, like a cramp or a Big Bang, and now that knot has loosened, the world has exploded into being, and I’m free. And at the same time, the sun returns. It’s almost too symbolic.
I can’t believe it’s done – that it’s finally over. The longest project so far in my life, and it’s now finished. My road has been very stony, dark, and misty. I haven’t had a clue where I was going. It’s all been very confusing.
But the defense went really well, I had a wonderful discussion with my examiner, my whole family was there to watch, my colleagues and friends and of course my husband. Instead of terror, I felt a cautious kind of joy. My work was accepted by the person I respect most – and whose model I used in my studies! Talk about coming full circle.
The party afterwards was wonderful, and I’m not as tired as I should be. I feel like a load of stones have fallen from my shoulders, and I can begin to straighten up again. And above all: I can now be an ordinary person again. I’m not a PhD student anymore. I’m a doctor. I’m done. There’s nothing more to prove. I can go about my business like everyone else and not have to reach for the stars. I can relax. I don’t have to know everything. I can let things be as vague as they are in the real world and not pretend to have an answer.
Well, at least as long as I’m not talking to the media, but you know… I can move on! Maybe on one of these. 😉
This weekend, I travelled to my birth town to visit friends, and of course I took my camera with me. As you may know, I’ve wanted to upgrade to a wide-angle lens from day one, but the Arjeplog scenery cranked that wish up to 11! There’s just no way you can do justice to views like this without a better lens.
The town is basically a series of lakes with a few houses sprinkled on top.
Water, water everywhere! I’d forgotten how beautiful it was.
The unique pink church, that got its colour because there was just a lot of white paint and a few buckets of red. 🙂
I only had my phone with me when we went to the pub, so the midnight pictures are a bit crappy, but still: look at that smooth water, that pink sky, that moon!
And of course, on the way back south this morning, the mandatory reindeer on the road. 🙂