Oct 15, 2017

My fall recipe - and a belated P.S.!

P.S. I am so sorry if I offended anyone buy questioning your authenticity as a reader! The thing is, I have such a hard time imagining people being interested in the thoughts and reflections from my little corner of the world, especially you being far away, on a different continent even. But to you who are, I am honored and grateful you are taking  your precious time reading my stories. I will from now on try picturing you as human beings of flesh and blood with your own stories, not annoying heart lacking robots. Thank you so much! And oh, I would love to hear your stories, please tell me, let me get to know you!

As I have mentioned before the northern Swedish summer 2017 was cold, windy and wet, actually the summer with the lowest highs since 1862! A record I quite frankly could live without. But it so happened my life happened when that happened…

Then there is always September. Now and then September delivers. Sun, breakfasts outside, even an Arnold Palmer in the afternoon. So how about this year? Nope. The month was the least sunny September in 30 years. I mean, come on!

If you have followed me through the seasons for a while you know I am not a fan of fall. The light falling makes me panic, so does the cold. So what do I do to survive?

I add light.

It started many years ago with the spotlights under my grandfather’s old apple tree, shooting through the greenery, and in the winter up the snow. It’s really beautiful. 

Later I (read my sons and their cousins) put light chains in the two small maples we planted next to the picket fence. I wanted to create the feeling of Holiday Westlake Park in Seattle here in the woods. Ah my impossible ideas…  But it worked for me! I used to sit at my kitchen table dreaming about Seattle, feeling a little bit closer. Now, the maples grew taller and light chains don’t last forever, so they are gone by now.

I live at the end of the road. And that’s something I am enjoying. My next door neighbor is on the other side of the grove behind me, I can’t see the house but I know he is there. In front of my front yard to the south there is forest, to the east another grove and fields, to the west fields stretching to Torrberget, Dry Mountain.

I I would turn all the lights in my house and garden out it would be completely dark here, except for a street light at my carport. And I would see some lights from the next road across the fields to the east. That’s how it was when I first moved here 36 years ago. One lamp over the front porch of the house. That’s it. Looking out the windows on a winters night you didn’t see anything at all. Pitch black. Great for northern light spotting though!

We added a lamp at the coach house/wood shed, oh a light out there! Then one at the door of the baker’s cottage, that’s nice! A lamp in the cottage window made it look like a little gnome lived there, cute! And the lights framed this place at the end of the road, made it feel welcoming and cozy.

People often ask me if I’m not afraid of the dark. No, I’m not. I often feel lonely. And depending on how severe my back pain is that loneliness can be very scary. But it’s not the dark that scares me.

I don’t like the dark though. And that’s why I am chasing it away with lights.

Some years ago I extended the garden with spotlights shooting straight up the tall pine tree at the ditch marking the border between the front yard and the fields south of the baker’s cottage, wow, what a change! I treated my dad’s big ash tree - which once was a small plant he brought here from southern Sweden - with the same recipe. He was a big plant thief my dear father. The 64th latitude isn’t the natural habitat for an ash tree, but somehow it acclimated and now constitutes the south east corner of my garden, lit up in the dark.

I also have a spotlight directed to the old outhouse at the edge of the forest ending my place to the south. And then there is the big rock in the middle of my mother’s sea of lupins in front of the outhouse.

The latest addition to my garden illumination happened last fall. I had been thinking about it for a while. There are two lilacs guarding the baker’s cottage, one at each front corner. Wouldn’t it be nice to have them lit up? 

Yes it was! I quite don’t know how to express the feeling as my inner image transforms into reality when it comes to illumination. To turn the outer switch on is to turn my inner switch. My soul expands and glows!

So am I happy now? Content? Happy yes, but content, no way! There are more inner images waiting to come to life. Next year, hopefully, my new cherry trees will be lit up. They mark the border of my garden to the west, and I can't wait see those sparkling, fulfilling the illuminated framework of my place in every direction!

There is one downside to my obsession of illuminating the dark here at the end of the road though. Light contamination. The Milky Way isn’t as clear as it used to be, and the Northern Light sometimes first catches my eyes on Facebook… 

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