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vanernimage credit: http://www-markinfo.slu.se

While I work out how to get my photos off my phone, here’s one to whet your appetite. This is Lake Vanern, a huge lake within five minutes walk from my friend’s house – absolutely stunning!

Sunday 4th April

My friend and I did some shopping for garden supplies, and returned to set up a new raised bed in which to plant the herbs her daughter had bought. We also helped mark out the second part of the forest path (I got to play ‘bread crumb scatterer’ as I tied red tape around trees every now and then so we’d find our way back the same way…see poem at the end of this post). Picked nettles to take back with us for nettle soup!

AND good deed(s) received:

Lots of magic from the forest which shared its beauty with us generously and abundantly:-) A warm text message of appreciation from my friend’s daughter including a photo of the herbs she’d already planted in the raised bed we’d helped set up while we were driving back to my friend’s house.

Monday 5th April

Having checked the weather forecast I mowed my friend’s lawn and painted another raised bed we’d bought (for her own garden) to take advantage of the ‘soon to be temporarily leaving us’ wonderful weather. Rinsed and sorted the nettles, ready for cooking.

AND good deed(s) received:

My friend cooked us a delicious nettle soup and watered me generously with nourishing praise and appreciation.

Tuesday 6th May

I confirmed my application for another three week silent work retreat at Gaia House which I am beyond excited about! There was such magic around this, as I knew I wanted to go again and then they advertised on their website a cancellation which just happened (!!) to be exactly the three week period I’d kept open for something else. Sometimes the Universe’s messages are subtle, and other times it writes them in bold capitals! Know what I mean? ๐Ÿ™‚

AND good deed(s) received:

Lots of enthusiastic appreciation for a poem I posted here (thanks all:-) and a wonderful conversation with my friend that reminded me, well, in a nut shell that I can take life too seriously, and that’s not always helpful. It was said in such a way that it sank in deeper than it ever has before. Let’s be honest, it’s not the first time I’ve been told this! In fact, another very dear friend, who was similarly inclined, used to joke with me that we should run a workshop/seminar called, ‘Life is Serious!’.

Wednesday 7th May

A rainy day during which I caught up with emailing and sharing good deeds, whilst also making another batch of those raw food truffle treats I told you about, and got my friend’s sewing machine threaded and up and running, despite having only the diagrams to go on as I couldn’t read the Swedish instructions!

AND good deed(s) received:

Received further details and gratitude from Gaia House (cue another ‘happy dance’) regarding the work retreat. A colleague from the care team I’m part of texted to let me know of some shifts I could take on when I get back, and offered to sign me up for those I wanted.

Thursday 8th May

Bought some small presents for people back home, and helped my friend set up the raised bed I’d painted the other day, and fill it with compost.

AND good deed(s) received:

My friend took me on a fantastic tour of churches, ancient rock art, museums and galleries. We took in so much in a single day, including some places she’d never visited herself. She later helped me to print off my tickets for the next day, and found a container that held exactly 100ml so I could take some of the marmalade we’d made home with me. (you can’t take liquids in quantities of more than 100ml on planes…)

Friday 9th May

Said goodbye to my friend with as much warmth and gratitude as I could without creating an indoor waterfall display. I played ‘staring games’ with a cute toddler on the seat in front of me in the train – really fun:-)

AND good deed(s) received:

Had lots of kind and considerate help and understanding from many I met on my journey home when they realised I couldn’t understand their language! This was a great gift to an English Language teacher, as it reminded me how my students must feel when they’re in a situation where they don’t understand, and can’t communicate effectively. It’s been a long time since I was in a country where I didn’t know a single word of the local language. (Ok, so I learned thank you – Tack!)


image credit: http://swegate.ru

Saturday 10th May

Spent time with friends and colleagues who run a B&B where a student who is arriving early is going to stay. They will be away when she arrives so I’ll be hosting her, and they wanted to show me around the place and make sure I knew all the ins and outs so I could explain them to her. Offered to take on another care shift tomorrow when I bumped into a colleague who’d been run off her feet this lat week, as so many of us had been away.

AND good deed(s) received:

Such a warm welcome home from everyone I bumped into, so lovely to be back:-)

And here’s a poem about making the path:

Path making

I wrapped my arms
round the waist
of each chosen tree
with my ribbon of red,
pulling it back like a belt
to tie a bow
and joking to myself
that I hoped the trees
werenโ€™t ticklish
for they werenโ€™t shy,
allowing me to hug
without once flinching
as I leant into their strength
until the rough bark
kissed my smooth cheek

And the trees
became stones
which became water
as the forest dissolved
into the restless lake
all movement and glitter
as the sun danced with the wind
on her glassy surface
for our mesmerized audience of three

until the stillness of the trees
called us back
and the green shadows
swallowed us whole
until our eyes picked out
the dainty red bows
on the proud brown trunks
and we followed
our own footsteps

Wishing you a wonderful week dear friends.

Love and hugs, Harula xxx