Wonder and silence are both I think dependent on each other. Autumn up here is devoid of many of the sounds which are typical in the area which I live. Only birds low twittering is heard and your own steps in the sprigs and bush weed. The slow pace enables you to slowly take in the beauty and to let it settle in your mind along with a sort of euphoria of the beauty.
Into the silence
There is something special about leaving a slient life for a while and enter into a greater silence as a vacation. Perhaps it tells that the life you have chosen, or det place you have chosen, is the right one. The destination this year was Funäsfjällen, some 8 hours farther up north. Nature offered us Autumn beauty in the mountains as it is at its peak.
Heading towards the mountains
To see the mountains in front of you, while still walking among the mountain birches, is hard to describe, breathing very fresh air for soul and mind.
A sleeping house
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.
Lunch with a view
I remember this lunch, sitting on the slope of the mountain, looking at the lake far beneath and on Norwegian mountains on the other side. The dogs loved it especially Ajax, who curled up beside me.
New signs of Spring
Spring is truly here, the cranes have arrived, the starling in his shimmering plumage sings as he flaps his wings in excitement. He excels in imitating other birds. Often he sits on the ridge of the wood shed with a clear view of his nest and the lake. The day grows longer than the night now. Life is back. To run during sunset these days have been a true enjoyment.
As the flowers begin to bloom, the firs release their seeds. It is a beautiful mixture of sowing and blooming.
Before the trees become green the wind pollinated trees and bushes begin to bloom. I love the hazels with their golden catkins reflecting the afternoon sun.
A farm between the hills
There is something wondrous about inhabited farms, even though the fields are cultivated and cows graze in the pasture in summer.
There is such a farm some kilometres from our farm, isolated up between high hills in the middle of a big forest. The view is stunning, enabling you to see firs and pines along the horizon far away. The access road is long and winding, ending in a peaceful dirt road some kilomteres from the main road. In the winter when the farm is completely abandoned, the feeling of loneliness becomes manifest, the dark small rooms with dusty furniture, the windows covered with frost, and the lack of footprints in the snow.
For about 50 years ago a brother and his sister lived there. Too humble a life for many I think. They worked the fields, cared for their animals, seemingly contented with each other’s company, growing old together. Their life changed suddenly when a fire broke out and completely destroyed their home. History and future burnt to ashes.
The only thing that now remains of their home is the ground and the doorstep, nothing else, except for the small adjoining buildings, tells about the home in which they grew up, lived and grew older. Too old to start afresh they moved, still together, hired a house and lived there until they moved to an elderly home. The sister died first. The brother followed her some years after. Their life is as unknown, as their home, untalked of, unimportant to this fast, efficient society. I think though that they are together now, much happier, in joy, their friendship and goodness having an eternal value.
Standing there breathing the atmosphere of silence wanting to revive the farm, but at the same time filled with fascination for its sleep, I realise my own mortality, my own limitation, well aware of that my wish never will be realised. But to be a guest, though uninvited, has its charm, enjoying the peace and the beauty, free to imagine what could have been.
An old man in the wood
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.
The capacity to wonder
“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.