Archive of ‘Nature’ category

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. 

 

 

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.

Spring Equinox 2017

“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.

Equinox morning

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.

On Being a Writer

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. 

Beautiful Spring

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?

 

Iceland 

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. 

Stop. Let me love you.

Grimm’s Fairy Tales illustrated by Daniela Drescher

Sometimes, or often I wake up full of fear. And I resist the daylight outside my window. I want to curl up and hide. But then it gets easier, as I take the first few steps into the morning, drink my tea, say hello to the white sky above the treetops.

I write for a bit, slowly, painfully, and then with joy. Usually. My writing helps me tremendously, to think, to feel, to connect with something outside myself, and deep within. To unseen things around me. And I’m not sure where this pain comes from, when there is nothing wrong, really. I just always seem to be wading through it in some way or another.

And I’m very happy too. I guess I’m a mix of things.

The other night I couldn’t sleep, and there was a bright, star with a red heart, outside my window, above the housetops. I watched it for a while. I think stars can speak to us, that they have a voice, a memory we share with them.

Once I felt inside of me, almost like a voice asking “Why do you run? Why won’t you stop and let me love you.” And I felt I was always running. So afraid to stop and let myself feel. So sure there wouldn’t be anything there anyway, least of all love.

I went for a walk yesterday and tried to feel the Goddess walking with me. I came to a snow lit field with white mists coming down from the mountains as the sun was setting. I felt it whisper sleep, rest, and I turned around, walked back. There is a lovely river next to where I live, looking almost black against the snow. I stood on a bridge for a moment, gazing down into it, the last of the sunlight glittering against its surface. 

February is almost here. More light. Spring drawing closer. Are you enjoying winter? Summer? 

At the Shrine of Beauty

“Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while, a great wind carries me across the sky.” -Ojibwe saying

At times she felt only half part of this world. Like she could walk right out of it if she wasn’t flesh and blood. That she was walking the middle path of two worlds intersecting.

I don’t go for a lot of walks in the sunlight these days. Instead, I wander outside at dusk, when it’s almost dark, and the first few stars are already out. I wander along those snow filled fields and trace out the beaten path as best as I can. I want silence and the whispers of the distant mountains. I try to listen and hear the voice of this new place, this new country I’ve moved to. Sometimes I want the sky to grow wild and raging so I can hear it better. It’s more difficult to hear things when a place has already been touched by many voices, many feet, when the cars are always driving by, filling the evening with noise and smoke. But I think I need to connect with this place, make it a friend. Not long for those misty forests of my previous home.

I knelt in the snow yesterday when I was sure no one was watching, or could even see me in the darkness. I sat and lifted my hands to the gray sky. I’m not sure why this helps, but it does. I long to actually touch things, connect with the world around me. Somehow it calms me. The trees growing along that path are too far away, or they stand behind fences and wire, but the ground is always there, so I knelt down on that instead. I breathed and prayed without words. Kneeling like that I felt closer to something I can’t name. But it’s there. I felt it even as a child, sitting outside in the evening, watching the sun set behind the mountains. I’m always reaching for it, been holding out my hands to it as long as I can remember. Do you feel something like that too?

I recently finished reading the books about Emily of New Moon. The descriptions of nature always touch me, makes me dream of beauty, and of a simpler time of more quiet, more trees. Less smog. I’ve shared a moment from the books below. Isn’t it lovely?

*

Then came the northern lights–drifts of pale fire over the sky–spears of light, as of empyrean armies–pale, elusive hosts retreating and advancing. Emily lay and watched them in rapture. Her soul was washed pure in that great bath of splendour. She was a high priestess of loveliness assisting at the divine rites of her worship–and she knew her goddess smiled.

She was glad Ilse was asleep. Any human companionship, even the dearest and most perfect, would have been alien to her then. She was sufficient unto herself, needing not love nor comradeship nor any human emotion to round out her felicity. Such moments come rarely in any life, but when they do come they are inexpressibly wonderful–as if the finite were for a second infinity–as if humanity were for a space uplifted into divinity–as if all ugliness had vanished, leaving only flawless beauty. Oh–beauty–Emily shivered with the pure ecstasy of it. She loved it–it filled her being to-night as never before. She was afraid to move or breathe lest she break the current of beauty that was flowing through her. Life seemed like a wonderful instrument on which to play supernal harmonies.

“Oh, God, make me worthy of it–oh, make me worthy of it,” she prayed. Could she ever be worthy of such a message–could she dare try to carry some of the loveliness of that “dialogue divine” back to the everyday world of sordid market-place and clamorous street? She must give it–she could not keep it to herself. Would the world listen–understand–feel? Only if she were faithful to the trust and gave out that which was committed to her, careless of blame or praise. High priestess of beauty–yes, she would serve at no other shrine!

Lucy Maud Montgomery – Emily Climbs

*

There is a lovely light coming through the window now. Winter light. The sky is white and grayish blue behind the trees. And the church bells are ringing. They ring a lot here, and I like listening to them. I enjoy waking up to them at 7 in the morning. Wishing you a beautiful rest of the week. 

*

I just went for a walk in the witch light (is that something? Just felt like the right description) Past gray misty mountains and trees. I saw a fox trotting towards me in the snow, in the almost dark, next to a small stream. I watched him for a bit. He kept coming closer, and I moved a little so he would notice me. He ran away after that. I felt a bit disappointed in myself. Why do I always feel afraid? 

The other day, in the bright sunlight, a mouse scurried across my path. He didn’t see me either and I stood and watched him gnaw through small twigs and even some ice. Perhaps he was thirsty. I like little moments like that. 

This evening I even heard an owl calling from one of the trees. It made me happy. It’s one of my favorite, most haunting sounds, an owl calling in the night. 

New Beginnings

The-Sensitive-Plant-study-Sir-Frank-Dicksee

The-Sensitive-Plant-study-Sir-Frank-Dicksee

“Attention is the beginning of devotion.” –Mary Oliver

I’ve been in Slovenia a little over a month now. It feels strange. Time has passed by so quickly, and yet also very slowly. So much has happened.

This place also has mountains, lakes, forests. But it seems a bit gentler somehow, than Norway. The sun is warmer, even up here in the Alps, and the rocks are white, not dark, the rivers are pale and see through, not wild and almost black. 

Sometimes I miss the wild, stormy nature of home, but this place is gentling me, and it’s so so beautiful. Like a place out of a fairytale, a hidden gem that you don’t know existed until suddenly you’re here. 

There is a dusting of snow on the mountains now. Winter is coming. 

At the beginning of October, I felt a deep need to write, like the nature around me was asking me to. Like I could wait no longer. There was so much beauty to breathe in. And it seems most of my creative energy is going to the novel I’m working on. My first novel.

And I’ve been drawn to Mary Oliver for some time now, and yesterday I finally bought a book of hers and fell in love. She makes me want to go outside and touch trees, speak to them, see them, just notice life around me. God is out there, somehow. And also right here, with me, around me. 

Some things I wrote yesterday evening, this morning. 

I went into the forest today, again when it was already getting dark. And I remember it now, lying in bed. How my heart wanted to break open. How I wanted to cry, though I never did. The trees were all dark around me, though there was a light above them, in the sky. The last bit of light before nightfall.

White mist is hugging my windows, so I can see nothing but odd faint shapes in the distance, shapes of trees perhaps, of mountains. But mostly the world is white and silent, leaving me space to dream, to be soft and silent within myself also. The outside world is forgotten. It’s only me and my words now, and a steaming cup of hot tea. Let me dream please, let me have the whole sky to write in, endless horizons, great wide fields of time for dreaming.

A few Instagram pictures. 

And something I wrote for a scene in my novel, maybe, inspired by a moment in the forest after a long, morning walk with a friend. Speaking about and sharing my writing makes me feel afraid, and strong and frail all at the same time. Do you feel the same?

She saw light fall to her feet, like white strands of water, swimming along the forest ground. She drew a breath, feeling the cold October air run through her, raising her hands towards the sky, to the sun between the leaves, letting it play over her fingers. The wind whispered gentle music and the moss covered rock felt warm beneath her, supporting her. She sighed. I’m tired whispered her bones, her heart. Let me rest. Please.

God is here, right here. Now.

Her eyes went to the deep blue sky, the gold and ruby leaves lacing its edges, and she remembered the first frost on the ground that very morning. The world was going to sleep in the most beautiful way possible, fire and ice blossoming together side by side, and she wished to be in it, to follow it, melt into it, disappear.

Sometimes the beauty around her hurt, made her want to cry, made he want to worship the trees, the earth, the moss, all the light around her.

One time she had seen a small birch tree without its leaves, all covered in silver, while around it maples and oak burned with fire and gold, and she could not walk further until she had heard what it had to tell her. 

If only she could walk in peace, forever, along the silver grass with trees burning all around her, the air sharp and cold, and new. If only she could keep away that flicker of worry, the fear that made her remember her dreams, the man, the frosty ground, the blackened sky. He would be coming soon, with the beginning of winter. If he was coming at all. She couldn’t decide if she wanted him to.

***

Also wanted to say that I’ve read this book for the third time now. Would recommend it to anyone, everyone 🙂 Deep in the far away.  And all of her writing.

Golden leaves

There are golden flowers, and golden leaves outside my window, shining in a world of green. When I woke up this morning, the sun was coming over the mountain, through a mist-filled forest. All the sounds around me were that of water, tinkling like fairy bells. I’m dreaming of a new place now, a new home. I feel a little anxious too, about our move to Slovenia, and trying to get everything packed and cleaned in time.

I listen to calming music. I broke my own rule of not listening to Christmas carols before December, but I love this song. There is something were soothing and beautiful about Mary singing to her child. 

Light and Beauty

zula kenyon 1

Artist – Zula Kenyon

It is the dream language. As you watch nature, as you watch your dreams, and as you listen, you will learn to interpret it. Your heart always knows, but it takes time, trust and courage, to learn to follow it. – (from my novel)

I’m writing now, as the day begins, the sun filling the world outside, filling the birch trees with green light. There is that touch of autumn in the air, just a chill of something, a few golden leaves. It is still warm, but it’s as though I can feel it coming, autumn, coming over the mountains in the distance, inching across the ground, whispering in the wind. Somehow, this time of year feels like a new beginning, more than the end of something. Normal life is starting up again, after a beautiful summer.

I saw the moon yesterday, it was bright and glowing against a deep blue sky. The stars were back too. All signs of a darker season.

I’ve been picking mushrooms and blueberries in the forest. Crouching down among moss and heather, the ground swimming with light and shadows.

Yesterday was the commemoration of the ascension of the Virgin Mary. A friend shared it with me. It’s not something I have celebrated in the past. Mary was pretty much absent from the church that I went to growing up, but I always feel drawn to her when I see pictures of her, statues, painted windows.

Some of us met, prayed and sang together. I felt there was a rose inside of me, and I asked silent questions, looking for guidance, and I felt them being answered.

I always carry this small, fragile question inside of me, that I ask the sky, my heart, that I whisper to the night. Am I loved?

I’m not sure why I still struggle with this, but I do. Maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to Mary, to her love, forgiveness. To me, she is the Divine Mother, the Goddess.

Sharing a beautiful interview with a woman who can see and speak with angels 

And this, about the queen of angels 

And my book is available in paperback. 

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