The gift of the forest

I was supposed a post a recipe now. An interview. Some bush craft skills. People want to hear about bushcraft skills. They´re all crazy for bushcraft skills. But.
Today was a gift. A gift to triumph everything. So here’s another kind of recipe and another kind of interview an another kind of bushcraft skill.

 

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We just returned from a glorious walk. GLORIOUS.
We all walked together.
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And we saw many familiar faces.

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And holy places

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And I want to say something about the land. I want to say something about spirits. And I want to say something about gifts.

I´m officially but naked downright happy, no, I´m exhilarated, I´m high.
3 hours of sunshine last month, a journey to the city, a day of snow but then came rain, yesterday, and we prepared for the dark but we woke up to THIS.

These moments are unexplainable.
People come here in search of these moments, like pilgrims searching a holy grail of presence and joy but this… does not just happen. It’s like with the elks- when tourists or hunters arrive they all disappear, in a split second.
When I came to the forest I didn’t have faith. I didn’t have faith in me and I didn’t have faith in us and sure as hell not in nature. I had some vague memories of nature from childhood but I didn’t really believe, in my heart, that nature could CURE me. Moving into the wild was an experiment. One last try, one last prayer… to the infinite.
Sure, sometimes the forest would soothe me and take away my pain. This happened, I admit it, glorious moments but never at my command and never when I thought I needed the most.
These moments were not given to me. These moments are something I have fought for.

This is what I mean when I say that I think the forest is inaccessible for those without faith.
If you do not believe deep inside yourself that you have the right to be a free ranging human being… you won’t be.
And if you do not believe, in your heart, that you have the power to change and to do and to act… nothing will happen.
You have to work on your faith if you want change and it’s not like the forest will kiss you like a mother and put a bandage on your wounds. The forest just IS.
I have seen a logic in this. I have seen it happen. I have seen tormented souls travelling on because liberation and relief didn’t come. In a split second.

But then I have seen this happen too.
I have seen coincidences that are so coincidental that they lose the sense of being coincidental. You can call my thinking magical, I don’t care, I know it is. Synchronicity exists.
We came home perplexed. We needed to feel the forest.
What a welcome present!
What I want for christmas was alway this: I want to feel ALIVE!

Today we received the greatest gift of them all and it was humbling, it was overwhelming  and yet it made me feel so strong!

 

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There is a nature of the gift.
I believe that a gift is an obligation.

I believe that the gift giving of yule is actually a way of strengthening the bonds between giver and receiver, almost a formalised bond-strengthening-procedure.
If you are given a gift you have to return the favour.
This is also somehow inexplicable but I just KNOW it to be true.
If you are given the gift of feeling alive you have to give life.
You can’t ignore that bond. You can’t pretend it’s not there. I’m talking to myself now. There is a bond between me and the forest. I know that now. It has been strengthened through years of observation and dedication. It has been strengthened by the way we leave our gardengates open in the winter for the deer to feast on our kale. It has been strengthened by the way we feed the small birds and the way we love the land.

Today I received a gift so I have to give a gift, no doubt about it.

This is the best I can do right now:  vanilla wreaths (look! I got a new gadget in the city, a cone thing to make them prettier). Later I will go outside and place them at my special place in the forest.
I know that people did that in the old days. They would place food outside for the land spirits, they would leave some of the harvest on the field for them, they would pour mead on the ground and sacrifice to the moors.
The worldview of the pre-Christian Scandinavians was much more animistic than it is today… but some of us remember.

I feel alive.

What a yule present!

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15 thoughts on “The gift of the forest

  1. Beautiful photos! Would be impossible not to feel blessed by such sights. Will think about this as I leave out gifts for the land spirits around us. They truly are everywhere!

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  2. Wonderful post. You express so well so much that I feel about connection to land and Nature. My family give gifts back for the gifts we receive: berries for the birds, kale for the slugs. We have a special tree where we leave offerings when we feel particularly grateful for something. I think that your posts are a gift back to Nature as well as a gift to us readers. In writing them you honour Nature and encourage others to honour Nature too.

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    1. That’s what I aim for anyways 🙂 And you know what’s so wonderful about sharing stories? I get to hear that other people feel the same and do the same, that this is not strange, weird or wrong, some people just sense the world like this. Thank you for telling me about your practises 🙂

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    2. I love the idea about leaving gifts in the tree. My boys love to stuff things inside of hollowed out trees (persimmons this summer, acorns now) and I never really thought of it as an offering but it truly is. Thank you for helping me see that. Peace!

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  3. I always did that as a child, gifted the elderberry tree, and sang to the Lady in the Tree when the moon changed phases. In the very, VERY middle class barren garden where I grew up, ha! – this tree was one of the only ones not destroyed when the Father built his architect-designed house except for the gooseberry bush that I loved as well. Childhood Resistance Army at your service! Thank you for stubbornly holding on to these things being RIGHT ❤

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