A little solstice story

The last two nights I have had nightmares, which I see as a good thing. When I was younger and seemingly healthy at least, I used to dream vividly most nights. Later, for many years, it seemed I did not dream at all.

What it looks like at 5PM.

What it looks like at 5PM.

Despite the long winter nights, I haven’t had much time for sleeping. However, despite (or perhaps because of?) those nightmares, I woke up in an unusually happy mood. Annoyingly happy, one might say. I went out to find the water by myself. Even the brown buildings were glittering this morning.
2014-12 Glittering Wall

Do they do this everyday, unnoticed? There is a hill that catches well the solstices and equinoxes; I headed for it.
2014-12 Solstice Hill Tree Noon Winter

The sun hit the top of the hill spilling over it. There is a hidden stone staircase here, but I only use it on special occasions. If you visit me, I will surely take you there, unless ice forbids it.
2014-12 Solstice Top of Hill

On the top of the hill, the sun at its winter solstice zenith, and from it a ship was emerging.
2014-12 Solstice Ship Sun 1

It is the one ship I can really identify, because it is our brother S’s ship, sailing towards Helsinki’s harbor, out of the blaze of our low hanging yellow star.
2014-12 Solstice Ship Sun 1

This made me even more joyful. The weather has been so warm, the grass is still spring green. Sun was on my face and at the same time a slight snow was blowing from the west and melting on my cheek.
2014-12 Solstice Shadow Tree

Finally, it was time to descend from my sweetly solitary hilltop. Bending down beside the glacier bared rocks I looked again, respected, the almost iridescent lichens growing there, reflecting on my recent sins, asked forgiveness of them.
2014-12 Solstice Lichens

I know all of my dear readers know the difference between a moss and a lichen...

Lichens are completely different, and far more interesting organisms than mosses, as all readers of this blog well know.

This birch tree demanded communion with its shining silver bark, this strange sunlight on its paper skin. I am starting to come around to birches.
2014-12 Solstice Birch Sky

How I ended up stealing a kiss from a red haired terrier is a bit stranger. It involved an escaped Swedish vallhund, whom I helped to stall. These are little viking dogs, who among other things, sailed with Norsemen into the British isles where their progeny are one of the Corgi breeds–the better one.

While frightening or at least surprising his person by attempting to chit chat in Finnish, the sweet little still-leashed terrier and I made friends. I learned that the name for a vallhund in Finnish is Länsigöötanmaanpystykorva , which is a bit more specific. Västergötland, to which the name refers of course, is the province of Göteborg, or Gothenburg in English, a familiar town.

And then, little viking dog captured, I continued on my way along the water, the solstice sun beside me until I finally had to turn again into the city (the sun doesn’t rise even above the lowest buildings) to hunt for some cream, potatoes and dill like a good Scandinavian. Don’t worry: three heads of beautiful Spanish garlic, and a little pot of fresh cilantro found its way into my basket as well…

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  1. Jennifer von Reis

    What a treat. I love reading your blog!

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