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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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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My whole world

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No matter how small the creature, it’s always at the centre of its own world.

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Hubby and I sometimes talk about this in relation to spiders and flies: how they must view the world so differently from us – not only because they have more eyes, but because they hang upside down from tent ceilings and windows. Wonder how this garden looks from their perspective, we say. Do they even have a concept of it, or do they just see their immediate surroundings and ignore the rest? Is the ant’s world comprised of the blade of grass directly in front of it – an obstacle to overcome – or do they think about the ant hill and dream of reaching it faster than yesterday?

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Every single organism is at the nave of its own universe. It’s the receptacle for sun and rain, for wind and weather. Everything that happens to it happens in relation to their unique self.

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Even in a field of endless waving grain, every seed is an individual.

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But what about fungi? Their self resides under ground, and the bodies we see poking up through the forest floor are only satellites revealing a larger presence beneath the surface.

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And we humans – can we see beyond our immediate surroundings? Can we grasp the concept of the garden even though we can only see the blade of grass that blocks our way?

Are we individuals, or a seemingly unique expression of something else – something constant, something whole?

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Going to the chapel

This weekend, hubby and I went on an outing to an old chapel in the middle of the wilderness. It was built in 1891, and the spot was chosen to be accessible from several surrounding municipalities – even though people had to travel 25 miles’ worth of primitive forest paths to get there.

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Back then it was also used as a school. There was no central heating, but there was a fireplace that the teacher or the beadle had to stoke.

The house was really pretty both on the outside and the inside. It recently won an award for ‘most beautiful building in the county’. It almost had a viking feel, probably because it was built during a time in Swedish history when people liked music, literature, art, and architecture that smacked of romantic nationalism.

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The afternoon light really did the room justice.

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Outside the chapel there was just endless forest – and miles of winding road flanked by wild flowers. It was almost ridiculously picturesque.

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But then on the way home the weather turned really dramatic, veering from violent winds and pelting rain to the brightest sunlight. I almost couldn’t snap these pictures at all, because the wind kept buffeting at me, my camera was drenched, and I had no time either to compose the images or adjust focus and exposure.

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Just a few more lilacs

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There’s a Swedish saying – “between hawthorn and lilacs” – which means a really, really short time. Legend has it that a Stockholm cobbler put a sign on his door that his shop was closed between hawthorn and lilacs – maybe to enjoy this brief but heavenly time of changes and delicate foliage just before summer settles like a green and sleepy giant.

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It’s such a transient beauty, and maybe that’s part of the charm. The lilacs explode on the trees in white and pale purple, and then wilt within days. But while they flower, nothing smells more divine. Well, apart from the man in the pic below. 🙂

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Strings in sunlight

Tonight hubby had his final guitar lesson for the semester with his group of new learners, and my presence was kindly tolerated. 🙂 We grilled sausages in a hut built in traditional Sami style (grillkåta) and played and sang together in between bites.

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It’s always fun to see hubby in teaching mode. He really was born to do this – and I don’t know if that’s a blessing or a curse! In any case, he’s really good at making people sort of perform at a higher level than they really should be able to – to create circumstances and show the exact things they need to immediately apply brand new knowledge in relevant and inspiring exercises. They get to feel that they can do things instead of staying at a very basic level and rehashing the same old stuff again and again. I don’t know, it’s hard to describe, but I really admire his ability to bring out the best in people.

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It was such a lovely evening – windy but sunny – and the hut we sat in was cozy and warm with a fire in the middle and benches covered in reindeer pelts.

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