Best laid plans of mice and men. Just as I was reaching to switch off the light, hubby hollers from the kitchen that there’s aurora borealis in the sky.
And what a spectacle it was! First row seats on the balcony. Unfortunately it took me a few minutes to find my camera, so I missed the brightest lights, but I’m telling you – it was like when I was a child! Pink and mint green and bright as day.
And mist! As if some god or other just couldn’t help themselves: “Look at all the prettiness I can create!”
What a lovely end to a lovely day.
It’s official. Autumn is at its lasp gasp.
This weekend has been freezing cold, but with those minus degrees comes a special kind of beauty – a cold, blue beauty that’s like a soft exhalation after the flurry and buzz of summer.
No mosquitoes, no flies. Nothing that lives anymore. Just the drained, brittle grass and a sun that shines on the clear lifelessness of an autumn lake.
Everything is losing even its yellow hues and turning brown instead.
At times, it looks like a fire-ravaged wasteland…
But then suddenly, the light hits it just so, and you can see slivers of ice glinting on the surface of a stream, or the dull grass turns to gold.
And finally, of course, a couple of seed pictures. I just love the delicate strands that stir in the faintest breeze and catch the final ray of sun as it sinks into the forest.
Normally when I travel to work instead of working from home, I’m away for a total of twelve and a half hours. And normally I try to actually work all that time on the bus and the train, so as not to waste it. Needless to say, I’m exhausted when I come home, and there’s nothing of the day left. All I have time and energy for is dinner, an episode of a TV series, and bed.
Today, inspired by the new insights my bullet journal is giving me, I decided to change it up. I mean, is it worth it to run myself into the ground just to be able to shave off a few hours on Friday? No. So today I worked an ordinary eight hour day instead, and the results were amazing.
I had so much time! I could photograph, and edit, and write, and all sorts of creative stuff that really is my lifeblood. And as if to cheer me on, the sun came out the moment I came home, and it stayed out while I strayed through the woods and snapped my photos. It felt like I was out there for an eternity, and yet only two and a half hours have passed!
No matter how tired I am, the forest always manages to rejuvenate me.
I can never get enough of these seeds!
I’ll be honest: once I got home again and started loading all my photos into the computer, I did feel a teensy bit tired again. I mean, I did wake up at 4.30 this morning. It’s just that I forget about being tired while I’m out there in the forest, crouching in the moss to capture those backlit leaves.
But being tired is fine, because you know what? Tomorrow I’m changing it up again and taking the 8.40 bus instead of the 5.35 one and staying later at work.
One of my favourite desserts at Christmas is lingonberry preserve with whipped cream, and it’s the easiest thing to do. You just need a day in the woods and a mason jar. That’s it!
We’re not the only ones who love lingonberries. Apparently a bear beat us to one patch..
Everything is aflame now: the last burst of colour before it all dies. Nature does not go gentle into that winter night, and the dew weeps for the departing souls.
After a few hours, this was our harvest, and it’s enough for a whole week of yummy jam and one mason jar of lingonberry preserve.
First, a note: I feel guilty for posting anything remotely normal. It’s too early, it’s too meaningless. I should be living in a cave for a year to honour the dead.
On the other hand, I feel more obligated to LIVE than I have in a long time. Like I’ve been reminded how precious this world is, and what’s the point of being left behind if you don’t make the most of it?
So tonight I did something I haven’t done for twenty years: I baked.
Hubby had cooked vegetables in chicken stock for dinner, and I used the left over broth for my bread. Managing my resources in a way that connects me to the rest of human history.
It’s a funny thing about autumn – I get this primeval urge to gather, to put away, to stock up on things. Normally I just go for ready-made preserves, but tonight it felt right to do something with my hands.
Bread. The symbol for life.
In the days after news of a death, it’s impossible not to feel like you’re making a statement.