Cobbing my cottage

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Life in the Trees

Time to think. There is much of that in the Winter time, when the days are short and the darkness is such a frequent visitor. It is easy to lose hope of ever seeing the sun again, when the clouds have gathered and rain is pouring down outside and filling the London street gutters with brown water. But in my heart there is love for my little place called Finland and even a littler place called 'Elaman Puu' :).

When I started building my little dwelling, I always wanted it to be a homage to the nature and trees that saw me grew up and of which some are now standing inside my cottage. Even though they lost their precious lives, from now on they will always be greeted by smiles and most likely even warm hugs when entering this sweet little space. But even in the midst of cold and snow, my cottage looks like it belongs to the earth and to its surroundings, it is a building of nature, from nature, in nature, regardless of the season.

My Elaman Puu in a snowy, Finnish landscape.

It has been snowing a lot in Finland, there is about 50cm snow on the ground by now. This is what my mother tells me, and what I can see from the photos my brother sent me just before Christmas. My tiny cottage has a thick snow hat on and the forest floor is covered in pure white. Everything seems frozen still. Yet, when I look at the photo, I feel such warmth inside. Almost like one of the Moomins, hibernating over the Winter, my cottage is waiting for me, yet it lives in nature's time, as part of nature, patiently watching life and seasons, day by day. I so miss that place, even though there is nothing as in way of work I could be currently doing there, it is far too cold for that. But of course I would love nothing better than sit inside, to listen to the sounds of the cottage and nature outside, feel how different it all is from when I last set my foot inside.

Apart from few vertical cracks that have appeared in the cob walls, I hear the cottage is doing well. Although that is just judging the exterior, as no one has been inside for several weeks, as the front door has swollen shut. We'll see what happens when I go to Finland in about six weeks and try to get in - will the cottage grant me entry? Or will I only be able to peep through the door hole to my elven nest?

What a difference three months makes in this climate.

Candles on the window sill.

I must be patient, just like nature is. It knows no constraints of time, it hurries nowhere. The only existence it has is the existence of now, and in that now everything is perfect. My 10-year old son sometimes asks me: 'Mum, why is life so hard?' And I say to him, life is not hard, but we make it seem that way. We worry, get anxious, overwhelmed, stressed, angry - mostly unnecessarily. And when I say we, I mean me as well. The past year has been such an incredible journey in my life, and it seems it will continue as an incredible journey still. There are moments when I think I have just grasped it, seen the meaning and felt the purpose why I am on this planet. Then, life gently kicks you in the backside and makes you return to a state of not knowing, uncertainty and confusion. I know I have the best advice for any situation within me - so close, yet at times it seems so far away from reach. I keep saying: Trust life to carry you Heidi. Trust life. It has gotten you this far, and as long as you live by your heart, it will keep on carrying you. Yet, in my weak moments I sometimes  falter....

A new calendar year is just around the corner. Of course it is only a concept that we have given our human existence, to somehow be able to deal with it better, in more understandable chunks. I am thinking of all the things that will take place this year that we are about to enter. Wow they are big things, much bigger than I could have ever imagined. In fact if I could have ever imagined all that has happened in the last twelve months, I think I would have curled up in my bed, pulled the blanket over my head and stayed in, abandoning all hope. One needs courage to embrace the unknown, despite of all the fear, but finding that courage makes life worth living, and the experiences that follow cannot be found under the cover of one's cozy blanket. So I tell myself......

In the meantime I will let you in a secret, just like I sometimes do with my precious trees...

The Tree of Life, the spirit of love and nature, has started a life of its own within me. In February when I return to cottage, I will be carrying a precious nature spirit inside of me - and in the Summer she will see the cottage with her own baby eyes. It will be a while longer until she can take part in the building work - but I know that from the very first moments of her life, this cottage will be a part of her, just as it is part of me. X