After the Equinox

Artist – Valeri Tsenov

The equinox has passed, and autumn is deepening. The mountains are full of color, and when I go for evening walks they seem cloaked in a misty blue. I go to the river more times than not. I sit and watch the water, and leaves falling from trees, dropping into the current below. I see silver fish gleaming against grey river stones. There’s so much beauty in the details of things, and in the simple shift of the seasons. When I stay quiet long enough and listen, I hear my heart speaking to me. And I’m still learning to trust that voice, to know what is guidance, and what’s merely fluttering, confusing thoughts.  

I celebrated the Equinox with friends. We did a ceremony together in a circle, around a fire. A man with a sword guarded the entrance to the circle, and words were spoken that I gathered up like pearls of light to carry with me into the darkness. We sang songs and watched the sun setting golden against the mountains, and though I was very tired, I tried to take in the feeling of that autumn sky, the fading colors of the last light. 

Autumn might be my favorite season. There is something uniquely beautiful about yellow and red trees, about the golden light and the sun so low on the horizon. I find it very poetic, – the crisp air and the slow falling into darkness, the approach of the Winter Solstice. 

My husband and I went to Vienna for a few days last week. It was nice to get away for a bit, to see new things and to reflect on my life. I wanted to explore the city more, but a tiredness had gone into me and I felt a little sick. There was also a lot of construction noise right outside our window, but I drowned it in rain. 

A beautiful black cat visited me almost every day. He scared me at first. I didn’t expect to find big, green eyes to be staring at me through the glass door, in the half-light. And we were on the third floor…and I had no idea how he had found his way to our patio. But there he was. Such a beautiful cat. 

Did you celebrate the equinox? Wishing you a beautiful autumn, or spring! 

 

 

 

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Darkness

Artist – Sulamith Wulfing

I step into the sunlight. The cold air. Watching the steep mountains, the mist touching the dark forest. It’s been raining for days. Thunder darkened the sky yesterday and it never fails to give me a secret thrill, that sense of power in the air, the thunder gods, stories from my childhood, so very close,

I swear there is a presence in the thunder, in the lightning. Something is drawing very close, almost touching the earth. I would stand in the storm if I could, stand on a hill and watch it approaching, feel the wind in my hair, electricity in the air. If I knew it would be perfectly safe to do so.

I’m not sure what to say today. Sometimes I feel broken open, old things spilling out, things to let go of, but I’m not sure how. I feel my life has become a series of lessons that I need to learn, to understand. Maybe it’s like that for everyone? I’m trying to interpret the messages in my dreams, in my daily life. I’m squinting at words taking shape on a page, trying to understand, to bring them into my heart.

I got up so early this morning. Even before the first light. I stared at nothing for a while, wondering what to do. Wondering what has woken me. And then I got up, pulled on a warm robe and lit a candle in the other room. I prayed and listened and tried to be calm. There is a silence reaching to the edge of the world at that hour, before dawn, before breaking, a silence I can draw into my heart, like soft, dark tendrils. Like velvet smoke.

I sang a mantra, and as I did I opened my eyes and watched the flickering candle, the statue of the Goddess Freya behind it. Her shadow shone onto the white wall behind her, a greater Goddess rising up, showing herself through darkness and fire.

This is the time of darkness, of the warrior Goddess, of shadow and flame. The Equinox is approaching. Will you celebrate it?

Sharing this video because it reminds me of magic, of home. Of the cold north and mists on lakes, and strange things moving beyond our sight. Jonna Jinton also shared how she stood among thick mists one midsummer night, hearing many voices that soon faded into nothing…

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First cold

Autumn is here, slowly, gently taking hold of the trees, the sky. The air that I breathe. I love it so much. It’s a time of warm sweaters, of fire and frost. I have a candle burning on my desk as I write this. More candles now. More light in the coming darkness.

I have dreams that I keep in my heart, though I know the world is a fragile place and anything might happen, might change. But what would I do? Without dreams? 

I leave my window open as I write this, happy that I no longer have to close it against the heat, against the noise of construction work down below. The world is falling silent.

I brought with me a picture from Norway, that I bought at one of those cozy, soulful cafes I visited. It sits on my desk now, an image of an autumn lake, dark trees around it, stormy skies.

Lately, I’ve been looking forward to mornings because I feel the best then. My energy tends to run out later in the day. But mornings are fresh and gentle, and I walk more softly through the rooms of my apartment, drinking tea. I like to write and dream, and that too feels like stepping between rooms, between worlds. I try to listen to that quiet voice inside, which needs so much silence to be heard. And a lot of the time it’s telling me something unexpected, something that is wonderful and yet hard to believe. Peace it whispers, but I’m not sure I can let go and believe in it. There are so many things to worry about…

Reading 

I’ve been reading Deep in the Far Away, which I recommend to anyone who loves beauty, love, magic. This book is very special because as I leaf through it I find flowers between its pages, and messages of love, which I touch, hold onto, like beautiful wishes. I felt a bit teary eyed and stressed out one night, and curled up in bed with this beautiful book, and felt much better. Comforted. I think we can bring some light into the world through the things we create.

Rain and snow 

I’m listening to the rain, singing, singing outside my window, above the mountains. The forest is veiled in mist. I want it to keep raining for a while longer. Somehow it protects me from the world, from myself, wraps me in my own quiet space. It’s like coming back to myself. The sun can ask so much, too much sometimes. Though soon enough, I will long for that too. The other evening I was surprised to see snow on the most distant mountains. They shone white in the gathering darkness, and I was alone in the streets, watching them. I stood there for a time, leaning into that distant cold, feeling it coming closer, closer.  

I become more aware of the light, as the dark season falls slowly, like a curtain onto the world. I step outside and watch the sky, the sun shining through the mist. But I’m not so worried about it here. I don’t have to cling to the light, not knowing when I will see it again. When the sun will show itself again. Here in this place, the sun is warmer, stronger, a more constant presence. I’m not sure why I long for darkness, the cold northern wind. In my mind, it makes no sense. I tell myself it makes no sense. I suppose I will always be longing for something else, no matter where I am.

But the more time I spend in nature, the more walks I take, the more I soften, fall in love with this place all over again. Yesterday I walked in the last bit of sun before it hid behind the mountains. The air was cold, the trees golden at their tips. I sat by the river and saw light reflected in it, saw that black and white bird dive into the water, come back up, dive in again. It would jump onto a rock, dance a bit, then throw itself back into the river. 

I continued walking past sun flowers, moon colored flowers, blushing apples on low branches. I’m held in quiet beauty, here in this place. It eases my longing for the north, though when I found a side path my heart beat with longing, rising towards those dark trees, the darker mountains beyond, the forest. But it only took me to the river, and I could not reach deeper into the woods.

Last night a storm blew outside my apartment, howled in the trees, throwing rain against my windows. I loved it. I sat safely on my bed, reading, writing, listening. Thunder shook the sky. Lightning flashed. Slovenia has the best storms. 

Sharing a song that I’m sure you know, but that will forever make me think of Slovenia. Edelweiss is their national flower. 

And a song that I listen to in the mornings, when I need gentle hope.

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And now I’m here

Artist – Kim-Yoon-Hee

I used to write here so much, and now I don’t. I guess things change, and maybe they will change again. And maybe I will find a way not to worry about what people might think, or if what I write is good enough, stupid, worth sharing. I’m always afraid to say the wrong thing, and I’m also afraid to look at my own writing, which is something I’m working on. It feels like a process in forgiving myself, my mistakes, who I am. In being open to the world and to learning. I guess I compare myself too much to others. And look too much to what others are thinking, doing, instead of finding a center to rest in, within myself. I would like to make a temple that I can walk into, light a candle, be safe, within my own heart. To make it strong enough so it won’t crumble at the smallest look, thought, word. I want to conserve my energy for the things that truly matter. 

I went for a walk today and asked the land what it had to teach me. Quiet it said. And I knew I needed to be here. There are so many times I have ideas about what I want, where I should be. When I returned from the US to Norway, I first wanted to live in a city that I have many happy memories from. But after looking at a few places, I turned to my husband saying; “I just want nature. Silence.” So we searched elsewhere instead. In the western part of Norway at first, where there are steep mountains that I find very beautiful. But something was steering me towards the south, to gentler landscapes, more open sky, more sunlight. And we ended up in a lovely place, where I found silence, people, healing. 

Also when I walked today I felt autumn in the air. An early darkness because the sun was already behind the mountains. There were storm clouds, rain. I walked and felt the flashes of lightning right above me, one after another. I swear I felt the heat of that lightning, and I turned around quickly, rushing home. 

I’ve learned that no matter where I go, I will miss something about the places I’ve been. I think it will always be like this. Wishing you a beautiful September. 

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Home again

I’m home in Slovenia now, after a beautiful trip to Norway to visit family, to visit those high mountains and shining lakes. I ached to breathe that fresh, clear air, to be part of that wild sky I love so much. It rained heavily when we left to return to Slovenia, which made it easier to let go and cross the ocean to Denmark. I was weary too. It’s good to be back.  

The trip

We drove along many narrow, winding roads in Norway, and I sat with a hand to my heart because all that beauty hurt me in a wonderful way. It felt like my heart was opening, like a creaking door. 

There are mountains, forests, and lakes. Rushing waterfalls. There’s always a lake close to the road, shimmering in the sunlight, or the ocean itself, tucked between fjords. 

We slept in a tent in the high mountain, where there are no trees, only moss and heather, and dark lakes. I was cold there and woke up in the night to see a billion stars above me, the silence of the mountain pressing against me, the sound of falling water trickling into my ears. We had camped close to a large patch of cotton grass which shone like drops of snow in the morning. I walked into the sun to warm myself and gathered a bouquet of them. They have such a simple, gentle beauty to them, and remind me of my childhood at our cabin. 

I also gathered heather to bring with me home. I love its purple flowers, its honey scent, its fairy magic. It’s one of the loveliest plants I know. At times I felt I could hardly breathe going for walks, especially in the mountain, – there was just so much to take in. I became very silent, falling to my knees in worship…I curled up on the moss by a glittering lake, letting it fill my ears, my eyes, breathing in sweetness, the warm sun. I only wish there had been more time to walk further along those trails, to see where the next bend would lead. 

I’m weary and full of happy memories, and some difficult ones too, which tends to go into the mix; But I’m learning to see moments of difficulties like gifts dropped into my lap, for me to hold and turn over, look at more closely. I try to remember to listen and to learn, even though it can be painful. 

I felt the beginning of autumn in Norway. I saw how the birch leaves were turning yellow, how the mountain grass was a burnt bronze, and how dark the lakes seemed. I brought home teas and honey, so I will remember.  

Reflections

Even now I ache for the wilderness I knew, the darkness that seemed at the edge of everything. Maybe one day I will return to it and stay. But for now, I’m here, in a different kind of beauty. A gentler beauty, kinder with more flowers. And yet….and yet I feel I’ve left part of my heart behind, and I try to remember that winter is coming and that Slovenia is a better place to face it. Less dark, with sunny days closer together. It was in May this year that I felt such a deep longing to be in Norway, leaving me more restless the further along we went into summer, into the simmering heat. I needed the north then, to breathe colder air, to walk up into the mountains….I just haven’t found any place that makes me feel the same as those mountains, high up, close to the sky. The water there taste like starlight, and there are glaciers, shining blue in the distance. Kings and queens of ice and cold. But it is very lovely to be back in my own place, to rest. I feel refreshed and very tired. I want to listen. I sense I went through a story, a chapter in a book that makes up my own life, and I need to sort through all the lessons given to me and to know what to do next. 

I wonder as I write this if what I long for the most are places almost untouched by people. Places untamed. I love the mountains because there’s almost no one there, only a few cabins, sometimes a road. You can feel nature speaking to you in its great, powerful voice, not tired out by people. In a way this makes me sad, because it makes me notice how polluted some places are, how beaten down. This is what I mean by wilderness. That place that is still brimming with spirits, magic, life. And at the same time, I feel that maybe I shouldn’t write this. There are so many lovely places. Places that touch my heart and fill me with beauty. But the mountain is different, – it shakes my soul. 

Maybe the things we grew up with has a special place in our hearts. 

Good night

I will go to sleep now, listening to the sound of rain and hopefully thunder. I returned home to mist and darkening mountains, which felt like friends. There are so many thoughts and feelings running through me. So many things have happened. I’m ready to welcome Autumn, dark and silence. Good night 🙂 

Sharing this 

And this, because it gives voice to the northern mountains, their chill and cold, and power 

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Leaning into the heart of the Goddess

I’ve written several posts that I left in drafts. I don’t think I will publish them because they were too full of hurt and anger, grief. But it is better now. It always gets better. Just have to stand in the fire for a while.

I feel very blessed living in the place I live. So full of beauty. To go for morning walks and see the light in the trees, in the beautiful gardens, overflowing with flowers. I like to walk by the river especially. There is something about the water that calms me, soothes me. Without it, I feel parched. The other day I watched a small bird dancing on a rock. It was all black with a white chest. It flew into the water, diving, swimming around. I didn’t know it could do that. It seemed so full of joy.

The days have been less hot, and I welcome the cool air, the mist on the mountains, the wild thunderstorms. I hide away when it gets too hot. I’ve been circling by the butcher shop to get raw goat milk, raw butter. It’s amazing to find such things. Treasures really.

I have my desk where I can sit and write, my own little place finally. And I can see the mountains from my window. All blessings. 

In the afternoon I curl up on my bed with a good book and my notepad. Sometimes I need a day when I can fill myself to the brim with writing. To step into the world of dreaming and stay for a while because it’s so easy to be shaken out of it.

The Goddess

She is perfume. She is rose sweet. She is love. The most sacred flower in the depth of your heart. Fragile petals opening in darkness. Strength confused as weakness. She is life, beauty. Love. 

Sometimes I fall asleep to the scent of roses (or the feeling of that scent.) 

I draw closer to her like this. My Divine Mother. I listen more. And I feel her showing me something that I can’t fully grasp because it goes so much against my stern ideas about life and love. But I want to believe what I start to glimpse inside of me. A truth I didn’t dare to believe in.

I feel letting in love takes courage. To be open and vulnerable. And being so loved, so near my Divine Mother makes me feel unworthy, very small, and yet deeply loved. It’s a strange combination, and it’s easy to run away.

I was reading a book about a girl who lost her parents and sister. And I felt myself in her. It made me feel how great my loss really is. How deep it goes. Deeper than I knew. I still think of my family with a pang of longing, that sense of being a tree in a winter forest, just starting to gather leaves. We can not turn away and forget. We have to walk through things, so I write. My main character goes through a great loss, but it’s easier to write about someone else. To look at things from a distance. And make her learn courage, faith, love, all the things I wish for.

The novel I’m working on is me piecing my soul back together, putting words and understand to my grief loss, without feeling too scared or overwhelmed. 

 

Note: Sarah is soon releasing the updated version of her novel as an ebook. Please check it out. Truly it’s wonderful!

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The Summer Solstice and other things

rThe-Wild-Swans-Rudolf-Koivu.

This seems to happen so much. I write something and then I never post it. I’ve been wanting to blog more but I always feel too tired to do so. Many things have happened, but I’m starting to feel the ground beneath me again. I’m trying to love summer and not to wait wistfully for autumn. Anyway, here are some words I wrote a while ago: 

Remembering

The sun is fading from the mountains now, and so much has happened. A whirlwind of events, both magic and pain put together. I feel tired out and can only lie and look at the mountains outside my window, the deep emerald forests, the pale green fields between them. I’ve moved apartments again, and I love this new view from my bedroom window. From the right angle, I can pretend there’s only mountains and sky and me.

I’m in the middle of unpacking. Making a new home. A nicer home, hopefully. I’m also unpacking everything that has happened, holding the events in front of me, turning them over, looking at them. It feels like a breath out, these last few days. I want to close my eyes and rest and let go of the things that hurt me and hold onto those little gems hidden in everything that I went through.

And I’m a year older. I felt pampered on the evening of my birthday, after spending the day packing and carrying boxes up four flights of stairs. Luckily friends came to help. I feel very blessed to have beautiful friends around me. After sunset I unwrapped presents and ate a divine raw chocolate rose cake, with rose petals on top. And the sky was a delicate pink. A lonely star shone through it. A new year has begun.

That night my husband and I also moved into our new home, slept in our new bed for the first time. The next day it rained heavily. There were claps of thunder, streaks of lightning and rain that poured down heavily. I loved it. Loved how the sky darkened with clouds, and how the heat broke for a little bit. We watched it all from the verandah, with flashes of lightning around us, eating leftover cake.

The Summer Solstice

And the Solstice has come and gone. There was magic in it that I’m still unraveling inside of me. A group of us walked up the mountain to do a ceremony at the sunrise. The moon was a sickle in the sky, with Venus right beside it. The girls stopped beneath it, and washed our faces in the morning dew. We did the ceremony in white robes with golden sashes, wearing flowers in our hair, walking into a pink sunrise.

In the evening we gathered again, sang songs inside as it was thundering outside, and breathed the beautiful scent of calendula, the golden flower.

Hope you had a beautiful Solstice. Wishing you bright blessings onwards.

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Evening Enchantments

Édouard-Bisson

Summer is here and the days are hot. I stay out of the sun mostly, but in the evenings I drift through the fields, watching the moon come out. I brush my hands against pale blue cornflowers, bend down to smell them, see white daisies shining in the thickening darkness. Silver moths flutter by me, and there are cows grazing. I hear the sound of their bells and as I stop they raise their heads to look at me. Some come close to the fence to see if I have food for them, or perhaps they’re just curious.

Behind me, and sometimes in the distance to my right, I hear church bells ringing. They tell the time, reminding me that it’s later than it seems. The days are long now. 

I feel those fields are an entirely different world now in summer. I first found them just before Christmas, silvered with frost. Now I breathe the scent of grass, and the air is warm even at night. I love that I can watch the stars come out, one by one, the moon drifting between clouds without being cold. I sit down and watch the sky for a while, hugging my knees, feeling the grass beneath my feet. Evening feels like a relief to me. Like I can finally exhale and relax. The world is quieting, and I can hear myself better, hear the world around me better, and I love to listen to something hidden, that silent voice in the sky. 

The other evening I saw black clouds gather above the mountains, saw flashes of lightning. It was nice to watch the storm from afar. Yesterday the sky darkened early and there were thunderstorms going on for hours. Early in the morning, I woke up to the sound of water gurgling outside my window. It’s the most beautiful melody to me, and as I write now I breathe the scent of rain. 

The Summer Solstice is approaching, and my birthday soon after. The brightest time of the year. June feels like wildflowers to me, like roses and a very bright sun. 

I hope you’re enjoying this time of year, summer or winter. 

 

 

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Sky Wishes

Angel-of-the-Peace, Nadia-Strelkina


Her soul seemed to have fallen asleep in that vast, silent landscape. She drew a deep breath, feeling a glimmer of a peace that surprised her. For a moment she could not remember her grief. The mountain had such an overpowering voice, that all else seemed to fall silent in its presence. Several places she rode past small black lakes that reflected the sky, the shifting clouds. She would stop for a moment, staring into them, their m
irror-like surface, seeing her own reflection. A pale wide-eyed girl, blurring around the edges as a wind brushed past. She felt she was looking at a ghost. Or a very old memory. (From the book I’m working on. Maybe:) 

Today

I’m waiting for rain, and the sky is waiting also. And there is a cold gust of wind sometimes, and light. It keeps shifting. I’m starting to enjoy living in the heart of a small town. At first, I wanted to hide away, but now I rather enjoy watching life happening around me. To be in the ebb and flow of the day, people coming and going. And spring is lovely. There are so many colors, so many flowering trees. The snow is almost gone from the mountains.  Winter seems far away now, and yet I remember walking through slush and rain, and dark days, early evenings, almost as though it was yesterday.

Behind the fence behind the bakery next to our apartment, there’s a small orchard of white flowering trees and one bright red one. I like pausing a little as I walk, to look into that slightly secret garden.

And there’s a tree on my way back from the shops that hug the side of a building. I’ve been watching it slowly turning green after winter, and now has white flowers, like lace spread over its branches.

Beautiful things sometimes hurt me a little, if I don’t share them. 

Mornings 

Have I mentioned that I get up to the sound of church bells? A sweet chime lets me know that it’s 7 am, followed by an insistent ringing that I’m guessing means it’s time to get up. I’m not sure. But I get up anyway. And the sun is already spread across the mountains, the river, so it feels right to start my day.

It’s Easter week, and I feel sleepy. The days feel sleepy. I want to buy a chocolate egg, just because it reminds me of my childhood. Easter feels like pastel colors.

I’ve gone for walks and seen the moon like a white ghost in the sky. A fading memory of the night before. Sometimes I don’t see her at all, but feel her light on me. Even during the day. A full moon, a pink moon they call her. It makes me think of that pink, flowering tree I sometimes walk by. That smells sugary sweet even from a distance.

Really, I just want to close my eyes, curl up and rest. It’s raining now.

How are you? 

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When the heart doesn’t hold back

I write and write, go somewhere, I don’t know where, and then I look up and so much time has passed. It’s like I’ve stepped into another realm and out again. Time passes so quickly, the way it does when you’re asleep, dreaming. And I’m like no no…a little more time, please. I’m not ready to face the rest of the day, to step out of dreaming. But doing this, I also feel I’m practicing listening. So I try to listen during the rest of my day as well and see if I can settle into that core of something inside of me. A truth that balances me.

I could go into my writing space and not come out all day. Yesterday I shared a tender tidbit of something that came to me, on Instagram. I wanted to let you know that I’m working on a book, but I feel rather shy about it. I’m holding it close to my chest, and yet I also want to share more. Maybe slowly, step by step I will be a little braver.

Spring

In the early evening, as the sun sets, I go for a walk and I’m breathing in new life. Beauty. The world is brimming with new colors, and flowering trees I didn’t think I’d see again after moving from California. Pink magnolia trees that blossom with all their heart. It looks like a heart to me. A heart that doesn’t hold back, spreading all its beauty openly into the world.

And I walk by the crystal clear river and see the sun in it. I stop and look into the water. I walk down a few stone steps and sit on a stone bench and just listen to the flow of water, watching sunlight playing across its surface. The sun setting in the distances, slipping now and then behind dark gray clouds.

Sometimes when I go grocery shopping I take a long way back, just so I can cross over the river and see flowers in people’s gardens. The other day it kept raining, with the sun pushing through eventually. And I stood beneath a birch tree with tender new leaves, the sky gathering like a small storm behind it. But there was light also, falling over it. And the wonder of it stopped me in my tracks. I could only stare and feel wrapped in some strange, magic cloak. 

Wishing you a happy Friday. A beautiful weekend.

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