Reflections from Greece

john-william-waterhouse-miranda-and-the-tempestI feel a little sad that my adventure is over, for now. I’m back home after traveling alone to Greece, finding my way to the island where my friend was staying with her family. I felt nervous about going, knowing that I would be out of my comfort zone for more than two weeks. But my spirit felt happy, it felt like I was expanding and that I was being guided to take this journey alone, my husband being unable to join me.

I like my comforts. I like the known, yet I feel I’m being taught to be more outgoing, a little more daring. On my trip I found a strength that I haven’t felt in a long, long time.

Sometimes in the evenings I would write. I was on my own then and my thoughts flowed more freely. There’s something about the night that inspires creativity. I’m sure you have felt it as well.

Anyway, I felt too vulnerable to publish what I had written. I’m not exactly sure what makes me so afraid. I carry a strange feeling of having done something wrong, even when nothing has happened. I feel guilty all the time.

But here it is, a little something I wrote while being alone in a small cabin I had just moved to.

***

I did not bring a camera, so people won’t be able to see the beauties I’ve seen. They won’t see the view from my bedroom window, the moonlight on the ocean. They won’t see the flowers, the wind in the trees, magnificent sunrises and sunsets.

I did not remember to bring the camera, though I think I forgot it on purpose. Somehow it gets in the way. I don’t like it. Yet I do want to brag to friends and family by showing pictures from distant, exotic places. But that’s not very deep is it? Do you know what my favorite part of the Bible is? It’s only a sentence, and I don’t remember it word for word. Let me look it up…Ah, here it is:

 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

That part stayed with me more than anything else. I feel that’s what I want to do, to treasure up all my impressions and ponder them in my heart. When night comes I long to be alone so that I can reflect, and feel what the day has taught me. Sometimes I listen to music with headphones on and just feel myself sway to the beauty of it. Other times I write, or look at the stars. 

My Heart Tells Me to Write

naissance_de_venus-largeI have such a strong desire to write. I’m not sure what to do except to…write, even though I don’t feel great at it. English is not my first language, and yet it’s in English I want to express myself.

I’m not sure where to start. Everything is jumbled together. I write something and stop, and then start on something entirely different instead, often inspired by what I feel in the moment.

I’m also not sure who I’m writing for. Writing for myself is helpful and yet I want more. I’m terrified of what people will think of what I create, and at the same time I want to share it with others.

Whenever I write I keep judging it, strangling my creativity, but I want to do it anyway. I write little stories that start and stop abruptly, not sure if I will ever finish them, all the time feeling in the midst of chaos, and yet hopeful because it truly feels like I’m following my heart.

To write just for fun is hard for me. I feel I need to spend my time well, like a good girl, make money, clean the house. It feels like my heart is breaking. I have to write! Even if it’s not very good, I just have to allow this creativity to flow through me. I’ve been clenched tight for years, holding everything in, and now I’m exhausted.

Below is a little something I wrote after returning from my trip abroad.

 

“She heard the sound of trees, soft rustling of leaves. The sky was dark again, always changing with the wind, one moment rays of sunlight would illuminate the world and the next it was gone, replaced by the grey whisper of a coming storm.

She was used to this and knew the storm rarely made it over the mountains. She had been to other places, countries where the ocean was a crystal blue and the sun was a constant ball of fire in the sky. The beauty of those places always dazzled her, though it felt strange, unfamiliar and a little unfriendly, like she did not belong there and the place and her both knew it.

Home was different. Home was part of her soul. She felt every part of it intimately and it gave her strength. When the light hit the dark waves of the lake she felt it deeply. She had dived into those waters and knew it to be pitch black beneath the surface, so unlike the clear ocean she had seen on her travels.”  

 

 

Meeting Lady’s Mantle – A Short Story

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It was early morning, a slight chill in the air and the mist was a sliver of silver on the ground. She was barefoot, feeling the wet ground beneath her as she walked.

Something caught her attention. Cloud shaped leaves glittering with drops of morning dew.

As she drew closer she was touched by the feeling of meeting a long lost friend. The plant smiled at her. It knew her and she knew it, though the memory was foggy, distant, a glimpse into a past life.

Intrigued she knelt beside it. What was it whispering to her? What was this wonderful feeling that filled her? It made her want to cry.

The goddess. It whispered. Why have you forgotten the goddess, your divine mother?

The goddess is in me. I exist only for her, and you did too once. Why have you forgotten? Why do you deny yourself to be in her, to be filled with her love?

Tears streamed down her cheeks now. She was beginning to remember. A time of magic, of incredible joy.

She was a priestess in worship of the goddess, and as she worked in the temple she was conscious of every movement her body made. Everything she did was a prayer to the goddess. As she went to the lake for water she did it in the magic awareness of the divine mother. Love was at her finger tips as she rearranged the flowers.

She shook with joy and at the same time she drew away from it. She didn’t deserve to be unconditionally loved, she didn’t deserve to be happy. And she feared feeling so intensely alive, feared the pain that might find her if she didn’t hide behind dark clouds of worries.

She had been in a dark, cold place with only a vague understanding of what her life had become. Now she felt something warm her from the inside, a slow, intense love filling her up. Her whole body trembled. She felt dizzy. She wasn’t used to the energy that was moving through her body. She had felt drained for so long.

It was at though a poison was now reluctantly leaving her body, making her feel naseous and blissfully happy at the same time.

She looked around. Everything was beautiful. She took in the trees outside her window, the wind moving through the leaves and she felt as though she could look at them forever.

Getting to know Nettle

Waterhouse_the_Crystal_Ball-largeShe was looking for healing. In a way she thought she should not need it any more, after all it had been so long since her parents, her sister had passed away. She took a deep breath. Long experience had taught her to listen to her heart. Her mind had lead her into trouble before.

She took a couple of more steps through the wet grass and then stopped, her gaze taking in a beautiful patch of stinging nettle growing against the hillside. It was odd in a way, to find it here. She had been looking for it for so long and then suddenly it had shown itself, after she had decided that she was not yet ready to meet this powerful herb.

Truth be told, she did not understand it. She did not resonate with it, not in the way she was drawn to rose, violet, linden and all the flowers of sweetness. But she had started looking for it after learning what a powerful medicine it was, and had never found more than a couple of plants….until now.

She slid her hands into her gloves and bent down to pick nettle tops with as much gentle focus as she could muster. She had a bag at her feet in which she dropped them one by one, her mind wandering slightly as the wind rippled through the grass, making the trees move behind her and she glanced up at the sky which was grey, wild with clouds of rain and a coming storm.

There had to be a reason why nettle had shown itself now. She felt she had been brought to this beautiful place, far away from the city, to find healing. Being here was not an act of conicidence, somehow she had felt the journey in her heart long before it happened.

Now she was here, wrapped in silence, feeling nature against her skin. She loved it. She was sinking deeper into herself, starting to remember who she was, and sometimes glimpsing who she could one day become, if she did not stray from her path, or rather if she could find the path meant for her.

Again she became aware of how tired she really was. Bone tired. It didn’t make sense in her mind, but she knew she wasn’t making it up. She did not feel like running, or even going for long walks. She would pick her nettle and return home, rest a little before preparing her soup. She always had to rest. It felt like there was a deep hole inside of her sucking all her energy.

Now she hunched down among the nettle, observing it more closely, taking in the dark green leaves, the little needles along the stem. What was it teaching her? Why would it hurt her if she chose to touch it with naked fingers? Why was it created exactly this way?

She got no answers. The only sense she got was that of power. Strong. Bold. Perhaps that’s why she had such a hard time connecting with it. The plant was everything she was not. It had an incredible presence, never apologizing for what it was, never pretending to be less or fearing to be all that it could be.

Yes. It deffinately had a lot to teach her. Her heart swelled with a newfound love for this plant as she continued to gather her medicine.

***

nettleI felt like writing a little story about my experience with nettle. My thoughts often form stories and I decided to write it down this way since that’s what I love to do.

When I came home I made soup. It turned out pretty good and even my husband liked it, to his great surprise. The look on his face when he tasted it made me laugh.

What amazed me was that I could feel energy from the nettle after just the first spoonful. It was intense! It does seem pretty powerful, and of course nourishing. I wonder how I will feel if I start including it more often in my diet, along with other wild greens.

I believe the plants can teach us a lot, if we only spend some time with them. Observe. Sense. Listen. It feels deeply magical to me to connect with them like that.

They can heal the mind, body and spirit. And I do need all of it right now. I’ve been too proud to admit it.

Nettle. A plant I never truly liked. It was one of the first herbs I learned about. I bought it dried and made infusions from it, a strong tea that I hated the taste of.

I looked for it in the wild but it never seemed to grow where I was, that is until I moved to this new place in the countryside of Norway. Even here it eluded me until one day it was just there, growing all over a field that I had passed many times. It semeed like it had just sprung up over night.

Perhaps I’m finally ready to learn from it.

I do want to have a presence in the world. I would love not to be afraid to show myself fully. I always wanted to be bold and to put myself out there, to be fiercly independant. Instead I have no voice, and I shake when I have to speak up and make decisions.

I’m tired of being stuck somewhere inside myself.

Life used to be different. I used to be different. As a child I was couragous and free. I want to be like that again.

I will definitely spend a lot more time with nettle. I’m so grateful to have found it, to know that it will nourish me deeply.

It’s a lot of fun to have access to wild greens at my doorstep, especially since local vegetables are still limited here. Summer is slow in Norway.

And forgive me for not listing the properties of nettle. I don’t feel like listing what I have read somewhere else, but I can say that it’s a powerhouse of nutrition, I have felt it. I remember reading that it has a high amount of iron, which stuck with me since I’ve been told I need more iron in my diet. I feel dizzy a lot.

Here is a beautiful article on nettle.  

Here is the recipe I followed when making my soup.

 

 

Wild Heart

 

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She had things to do, and thought she better stay inside and finish them, but the evening sun beckoned her to come out.

When she looked up from her work she gasped, dazzled by the brilliant golden light that lit up the grass, the trees, the empty white house next door.

Behind her the water glittered silently, and she quickly slipped on her jacket, her shoes before disappearing out the door , telling herself it would only be for a few minutes.

The air was fresh and she breathed deeply, remembering that it had just been raining. It was late but the evenings were long now, stretching almost to midnight and she knew the sun would be out for some time still, even after its rays had disappeared behind the mountain.

She walked, not sure where she was going. She drew closer to the empty white house, wondering who once lived there, if they had been happy. She longed for her own home one day. The house looked lonely, yet cosy, its garden still asleep after the snow, though she could see little weeds appearing everywhere.

She stopped, unable to return back inside for the beauty of the place had captivated her. She stood as frozen to the ground beneath her, and was filled with a yearning to return to her roots, to communion with the earth, to embrace that starved, wild part of herself. She thought of herself kicking off her shoes and run quickly through the fields, into the forest, leap over little brooks and streams. Strong. Free.

The thought made her smile, joy bubbled up inside of her but she found herself unable to do it. She felt tense still, stiff as though still touched by the frost of her past, painful memories that would not let her relax.

She realized she didn’t mind so much anymore. She had been brought to this place to heal, everything that had happened until this moment had been for her learning so that she could embrace a new way of being, or rather embrace who she truly was.

 It was time to stop pretending, stop trying to be more than what she was. It was time to let go, to rest. It was Ok. She would give it time.

Slowly she began moving back to the little place where she lived, to a cup of hot tea and sweet cheese. The fresh air made her hungry. Often she would hunch down among small green things, talking to them softly and seeing if she recognized them. Then finally, with strange new leaves in her pocket, she drew back inside and returned to her work.