Archive of ‘Reflections’ category

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.

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. 

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 

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!

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? 

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.

The old gods

Artist – carl emil doepler

There is something about Fridays, isn’t there? The day of the Goddess. It’s a bit more gentle, golden, like Freya herself. And maybe there’s a lightness spreading across the land, a looking forward to the weekend. A deep exhale.

Yesterday I watched this interview, and felt such a longing for the old gods, and remembered stories my mom told me. About Thor riding across the sky making thunder, and I could see it in my mind’s eye, making me shiver with the wild poetry of it. There is something about the old religion that sings to my bones, that makes me see mystery in the mountains, in the cold dark lakes of my homeland. Perhaps one day I will read the Poetic Edda myself. I want to. 

Beauty

And I’ve been reflecting on beauty, how feeling it deep inside of me can make me dream beautiful things at night. Flying above lush landscapes. What hurts me the most is when beauty, nature is being destroyed. It feels like we’re destroying our own soul along with the landscape around us. When instead we should be growing trees, flowers, gardens inside and out. 

I’ve gone for long walks among pale yellow fields, among wildflowers gathered beneath trees, along fences. It was beautiful, except for the heavy metal music being played somewhere below, reaching me no matter how far I went. I wanted to be in silence. I reached for the mountains, the sky, wanted to hear bird song only. Oh well. This is what happens when you move back to civilization 🙂 

I sat down on the ground, pulling off my shoes, breathing, breathing. I always feel slightly frayed at the end of the day, tired perhaps of fighting a battle with myself. I’m trying to understand it, a guilt about something, always something. And I want to be strong and clear on my path, knowing for sure that the gods are with me. 

Now I will dream of flowers to plant together with a beautiful friend. 

Wishing you a magical Friday and weekend. 

May she look kindly upon you.

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. 

The Cold North

I went to Iceland with my husband. And I’ve seen many beautiful things. It’s so strange being on an island, surrounded by the cold ocean, so similar to my own home, and yet very different. Listening to a language I feel I should understand, but don’t. It feels like listening to an old memory. A distant past.

We had a small storm today, here in Reykjavik. I spent the morning and early afternoon indoors, growing restless, watching the trees wave outside my window. And then I felt it call to me, that wind, and the sun came through the rain and so I went outside. I walked to the sea and watched it tossing around, silver gray and white and endless. And some words came to me out there, that I wanted to write down. I’ve felt pretty empty lately.

I had to be careful to not fall over in the wind, and I turned back, headed to a small coffee shop. I like watching people, without interacting, but just observing life and things happening around me. There are several people with computers, some reading the newspaper, most just talking over a beer, over soup and sandwiches. I order lemongrass peppermint tea and a slice of chocolate cake with cream.

I’m enjoying my last few days here in Iceland. I know I will blink and it will be gone.

Hope to write more, later 🙂 

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