Archive of ‘Nature’ category
Frank Leonard Stick – A Viking Mother (1929)
I woke up early yesterday before the stars had fully dimmed, and the moon was still in the sky. I watched it slowly fade as the sun rose, become a ghost moon, waning slowly.
Spring has arrived in full force. There are wildflowers everywhere, blue and white anemones, primroses, crocuses, – the world is a carpet of beauty. I went for a walk by the lake with friends, and the wonders around me made me almost afraid. Afraid to miss out, that spring would fade before I could take it all in. This is such a lovely time, before the rush of tourist, before the heat. The air is still quite cool when the sun isn’t out. And I will miss out on some of it, – I’m going to the US for a few weeks, and I fear the snow will be gone from the mountains by the time I return. I could gaze at those mountains forever.
It’s been a long, somewhat difficult winter. Spring feels like a relief, though also a bit painful. Things tend to be stirred up. It hurts to break open.
My writing and thoughts have changed since I moved to Slovenia. I feel I have to find a new way of being, and not look for the old. I’m no longer quite so immersed in nature, but instead I have the love of friends around me. And I get to walk by the river. But I feel quieter somehow. This place is gentler than the old North. I’m no longer shaken to my soul by wind and storms and cold rain, and dark mountains. Dark forests. Air and lakes and rushing waterfalls that feel like crystal. Clear and sharp.
Instead, there’s a gentler, in some ways even lovelier beauty here. But I feel less stirred into writing about everything I see around. The forest is no longer at my doorstep.
And I wonder if I should share more about the project I’m working on. That I’ve been working on for a long time now. In a sense, I feel I’m learning how to write. How to write a novel. It’s a wonderful though at times difficult journey. And it furthers my healing from all the loss I’ve been through. I feel I’m still guarding some great, old wound. It feels like holding onto poison, not quite knowing how to release it. There are things I went through that I’ve never spoken of. That I was unable to actually voice because it was too horrible and involved people I love. And moments that I’ve just glazed over because it hurts too much to dwell on them. I’ve never fully looked into what those events did to me. It’s easier to explore them through fiction.
But I’m also exploring beauty. Things I wish for. Like an ancient white temple by a cold lake, and of course white mountains beyond. And what would it be like to live the life of a priestess? To follow the will of the gods….the courage and joy and pain that would involve.
Wishing you a beautiful spring or autumn!
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…
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
And this, because it gives voice to the northern mountains, their chill and cold, and power
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.
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.
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.
“Your will Father, not mine.” She trembled beneath the weight of those words, bowed her head, because she meant them, feared them. They felt like thunder, felt like she had given her life over to the north wind. But there was light also, there in the sky. A white, kind light that smiled at her, falling feather light around her, a soft summer breeze. Peace.
Following the will of the divine is something I yearn for, but it also frightens me. I feel it takes some courage, understanding, and one step at the time to get there. And also Elohim. What is it about this word that sends shivers through me? It feels so powerful somehow.
I greeted the sunrise on the Spring Equinox, gathered in a forest with friends, in a white stone circle. I sat for a moment before our ceremony, watching a white half moon between the trees. There were threads of the softest pink on the horizon. Then we all pulled on our robes, taking on our different roles. I was the Divine Mother, walking beside the initiate, the one who has to go through trials by fire, who carries the cross, carries the sun within. Everything was quietly somber at first, and then bright, beautiful. I gathered some things to reflect on, beauty and darkness showed to me, and I want to listen deeper, deeper. (It’s always a bit scary to me to share these things, but I want to. They touch me so deeply.)
Later I went for a forest walk with friends, feeling the warmth of spring. The world renewed. There were so many flowers of different shades, colored gems spread across the earth, violet, blue, white and gentle yellow. I felt the spirits of the forest whisper to me in some strange, old language. Felt laughter just beyond my hearing, just beyond my sight. And there were still large patches of snow that I sunk through, that glittered white in the sunlight. The air held a faint fragrance of sun-warmed moss and grass, and I brushed my hand against moss covered trees, against rough bark. Saw the blue sky through bare boned branches.
Wishing you a beautiful spring, or autumn. Wishing you love.
Artist – Zula Kenyon
I didn’t know I was a writer. I didn’t know I had stories in my head when I looked at things, didn’t know I could have an outlet for everything I was feeling. I guess we all go through that, thinking everyone is seeing the world in the same way, and that we have no unique skills of our own. Nothing of value to offer, and that we can only do something creative if we’re uniquely skilled from the start. If our teacher had come over to us and proclaimed us a writer, an artist, a musician, etc. I was never particularly good at anything. There was always someone better than me, especially at writing, so I didn’t even consider being a writer. But I also had never found a way to use my own unique voice. And now I don’t think I can stop writing. It would make me too restless and sad. It’s a new and exciting path for me. One that I’m still learning about. And it’s made me a lot happier.
But I think I’m a listener more than a writer, really. I mean, that’s what I always went back to as a child, the listening. I was listening to the world, to the sky, to some voice that was no voice at all. More like a feeling perhaps. Or maybe this is what a writer is. And it’s what I most love to do above all, just simply sit, walk or stand and listen, feel into something unseen. Reach for something that I’ve forgotten, that some deep part of me still remembers.
On a different note….spring is almost here. The Spring Equinox is on Monday and I’m preparing for it with some friends. We’ve been gathering in a forest, and that’s my favorite part of it I think, being in a forest with friends.
Artist – Zula Kenyon
Spring is gathering outside, filling the world with wildflowers. The other day I stood in the forest, a light, cool spring rain singing through the trees. It was just beautiful. I can still hear it, feel it, my face turned towards the sky.
There’s blue star shaped flowers on the ground, growing in blankets among the trees. I know this flower, if only through song. I know its white cousin very well because it filled the fields behind our house where I grew up, but the blue one never showed itself. It grew in other parts of Norway, (now I’ve moved to Slovenia). But my dad would sing a song about it, and I also sang it to him one day while we were walking by the river when he was feeling depressed. I wanted to remind him of beauty, of magic, of joy.
It’s a simple song. About someone receiving a bouquet of these blue flowers from a young girl in a forest. In return, he gives her a few coins to buy some chocolate, but as she happily skips away from him, he reflects that he has never before received such a rich gift, and in truth, it was she who was good towards him, not the other way around.
My dad would sing me different songs while growing up. One was about a girl living in a forest.
“I know a little girl, yes I know her so well, I know a little girl north in the woods.”
And my mom would sing about a girl who asks the southern wind to not touch the veil on her hat because she needs to look beautiful for her beloved.
“And the girl asked the southern wind, don’t touch the veil on my hat. It needs to be nice and clean for my beloved. With a hat with a veil and silken straw. A dress with lace along the neck, two white shoes with ribbons, and socks as clear as day.”
Silly little songs that I still remember, if only the first sentence of it. Hearing them again always brings me back to my childhood. Do you know songs like that?
I wanted to write about Iceland sooner. But then I got sick and life carried me along with it. What I will remember most is how it felt to return to the wild north. To be in a place somewhat untamed by people. The houses in the countryside seemed almost lost, swallowed up like they didn’t quite belong among the fields and mountains. And I loved all the streams and rivers and small lakes that you could drink from. The fresh air, and the blue light of the mornings, and the smell of snow. I loved the steam that would rise up here and there from the ground. It was such a strange sight. And I liked seeing the small Icelandic horses along the road. The place was full of them.
I felt at home in Iceland. In Reykjavik, I went for a long walk along the ocean in the heavy snow that had fallen overnight. I always have to go to the ocean when I can. I like to stand and watch the horizon, to feel what might lie beyond it, and listen to the distant voice of the sea.
But now I’m back in Slovenia and waiting for the Spring Equinox. Everything is coming back to life. Can you feel it? Or perhaps autumn is coming to where you are, and you feel things falling away? Wishing you beauty, love, light.