"The Capacity to wonder is among man's greatest gifts"
Author: Magdalena Cavallin
I have lived my entire life in the countryside and have always been filled with wonder over nature, the life and the beauty. I live on a farm in Sweden in the middle of nowhere and since 2015 I have together with my sister taken over my parents farm. Here I try to combine all the things I love best: Be and work in nature together with my dogs, to sing and study and photograph, my catholic faith, and last but not least to contemplate and recognise "the extraordinary in the ordinary".
If you follow a minor dirt road not far from here, which leaves the main road to reach some farms further in, you will pass a house that is left to sleep so deep that soon I think no one will be able to kiss it awake. Lilacs grow over the wide stonehege, which also make up part of a root cellar. Old beeches strech their heavy branches over the narrow road. Beauty for all senses.
About 35 years ago there lived a joyful farmer there who managed this little farm meticulously, in a friendly manner. But old age at last got the better of him and he left this life for the eternal one. A cousin of his inherited the house, but she didn’t care for it, nor the farm, just the idea of owning a property. She has never visited it, just left it there. Nature has slowly made the garden into a small charming wilderness.
During my whole life I have watched how the seedlings that took root by the walls of the house, slowly have grown into trees, how the smaller barn with wooden roof at last collapsed and returned to the earth it was made from. Many times I have stopped there dreaming to restore it to that neat little fram it once was. But there is a fascination of the forgotten one with hidden memories. However, when I passed this time I could not resist entering through the one gate that is still hanging on its hinges.
I sat down in the grass among the old apple trees in the meadow of red and yellow primroses. Nothing disturbed the peace and quiet of the garden. I did not feel as an intruder, more of a guest taking part of a flowers feast.
I wonder if anyone will ever live in that house again, call it a home, sit where I sat admiring the flowers, but not as a guest but considering this place as part of their life. What a happy owner it would be.
Perhaps it is a too strong word, paradise… However there are moments when beauty reveals itself a little more than usual, the response is awe and joy. I was late with work and took the opportunity to give the cows water during the evening. Standing there while the drinking troughs were filling up, I witnessed the evening play of the lambs. I love to see them play. The sun was setting and shone with a warm yellow light on the hill while the lambs, quite unaware of the light, had found a stone of interest to climb up and jump off from. The restfulness of the windless evening the light green colour of the newly sprung leaves and the evening light, created a sense of paradise; beauty, peace, joy, and of course goodness.
The Month of Virgin Mary is ended, it always fills me with a bit of sadness. During one of our May processions in the garden, our cat Joseph, which has found a home here, thought it was so cosy that he decided to take a nap at Virgin Mary’s feet. Animals never stop surprising me with their initiatives.
A sunny Sunday, the decision was easy to take a run and make a pause by the lake. It is lovely to sit by the shore with no one near, just Toby and me, and the lake. We both went into the water, Toby swam and I walked up to the height of my knees. It was lovely to just sit there in peace on the bank, contemplating the beauty of the sky and river, and the light green leaves of the trees by the lake and watch Toby’s delight in the water.
There is something wondrous about spring rain. It is as if the plants delight in breathing the water vapour, drinking water with their leaves. The air is saturated by uncountable odours. These days I love to take a run in the forest. In there the smell of wet moss dominates together with the soft aroma of sap rising in the birches.
The bees and ants have woken up. It is fascinating to see their dedication and their industrious work as their gather food for their queen and larvae. They have a common project, in their nature completely unselfish.