I have a favourite trail. It stretches over fields, pastures, through forests and on country roads. Though not long, it is varied and it also takes me past one of the most beautiful little farms in the area. The house is situated far from the main road surrounded by fields and trees. A river runs next to it and passes an old broken water mill. The farm sleeps, waiting for someone to wake it up.
I have walked this trail for several years, but it always gives me new small surprises, as today. I passed a stone and I noticed the beautiful nuance of the red granit contrasted by the green moss that partly covered it. I kneeled down to catch it on camera. Suddenly I saw not a stone but an old man with green beard. He looked a little stern as if he was, against all odds, determined to stay there for some hundreds years more.
Toby and I went out for a brisk day’s walk before noon. It had been quite cold during the night, but the temperature had risen during the morning. The damp air softened the colours of both trees and ground.
I love the colour of the reeds on these days, similar to that of ferns, but more distinct, perhaps since they are much bigger. The rustling sound as the wind moves through them soothes my mind as it enhances the silence, making the walk very peaceful.
“The capacity to wonder is among man’s greatest gifts.”
This is one of my favourite quotes, because it describes humans not as mere selfish beings, but having the capacity of feeling both awe mingled with surprise and amazement of the world in front of us which keep us searching for the cause behind the beauty.
I realised that my ewe was expecting lambs, not as I had planned having them in May, but as she liked, in January. When the time of delivery grew closer, I started to get up in the middle of the night to check on her, but nothing happened except that she grew bigger and bigger, and bigger. At last I gave up and checked on her three times a day, hoping that I would be there so that I could help if she needed.
One day around noon, I sat in my room studying, and my sister calls me and said that my ewe had got her lambs. I asked her, as I hurriedly went out to the barn, how many? “Two” she said, “or three, no it’s four!”
And there they were for white lambs and one of them very small and thin. She cared a lot for them all and that was wonderful. But now came the task of making the little one survive.
He got his rawmilk, which is essential for his immune system, but he dropped in temperature. I installed a heat lamp, he was to weak to both stand and suckle by himself so I fed him through a bottle, every fourth hour. His temperature raised to normal quite quickly, which was a good sign. After two days of slowly improving he gained strength and now after a week he is as alert as the others, allthough smaller. I have named him Richard, he must have a great name, her is real fighter. It is so wonderful that he survived.
The others treated him very well and they kept him warm. So now I have my quartette Richard, Roger, Agnes and Cecilia.
I started my walk today with just the intention of having a little longer ordninary walk. As I was just on my way to take the first steps I turned around and for just some seconds I beheld the sun setting in gold and rosy colours, reflecting the warm colours in the little pond in front of me. Some seconds of beauty and then all was gray and pale pink again. It was lovely to catch sight of it, even just for some seconds.
The stars kept us company the last half hour of our walk. Almost home, I walked along our little lake. Suddenly I heard a hollow tone, the lake was singing. It is wondrous to hear the muffled sounds echoing through the ice, so unlike any other, calling here and there, never knowing from where the next sound will come.
We had just said hello, and were beginning to present ourselves when her voice broke. Everything about her looked like a dream. She was beautiful, she was young, studying to become an art teacher. Sitting there in the airy room with the ivy climbing up along the window, she looked like to have a lovely life, fresh like a summer morning.
I saw her pain when she tried to explain, divorce, just the beginning while she made an attempt to cover her face with her hand to hide her tears. My heart became heavy to see her pain. I wanted to cry with her, but my words were clumbsy, “how terrible, poor you”. I could suddenly see her loss, both life, love and future, dreams, crushed, rejected, but I could not do anything to help her.
It wasn’t meant to be like that from the beginning.
I was out running with Toby. The weather was uncertain, but we took the chance and left for the woods and soft roads. We were running uphill into the forrest when the sun suddenly shone through the trees.
Together, the damp air and the beams made a beautiful display in front of me. And there stood Toby in the middle of all the light, waiting for me to catch up, a perfect part of the beauty that surrounded him, but unaware of it. I hesitated, stopped for a moment and gazed. Sometimes it feels that you have finally stepped on the right spot and entered into a fairytale.
I was walking along the shore, immersed in my thoughts and many things more. And I came upon a tree, that stood there whispering about the secrets of the sea. Solace for my soul, after all the tales by thetree that I was told.
While I was taking a walk today I suddenly remembered this walk I took in the south of Sweden. So many things have happened since then, but I think the tree is still there gathering still more tales of the sea.
I am sitting in the living room with the Christmas tree on my right hand and a crackling fire in the tile stove on my left. Both the night and day have been stormy and the mild spring feeling turned into dry and cold winter weather, but with a clear light blue sky. A day like this one, my thoughts turn to the warm colours of autumn. There are two species that stand out, perhaps because of their soft lilac colour, October aster and the autumn crocus.
While the October aster is hardier with small flowers in abundance, the autumn crocus is more gentle and on the verge of surrealistic. You find it there in the bare soil of the flowerbed without any fragrance and without leaves to accompany the weak flowers, but with a colour that even the bright roses of summer would be proud of.