Dressed In Winter And Taking A Holiday

Hello, dear ones! It has been way too long since my last post, but not for the lack of trying. Somehow it seems like nature and I are in sync, both stuck in a phase of trying lately, and the results we aim for don’t get realised at all. I look out the window and feel a sense of connectedness with the winds, with the earth, and the snow now falling once again, as opposed to rain the past couple of days. Nature appears to be struggling with its attempts at dressing our fields and forests in winter. We have had some colder days, and earlier this week on Tuesday, I drove Lilli and myself through a whirl of snow into Rauma for her art school. There was so much of it I felt myself drifting when staring out the windscreen at the large and hypnotizing flakes being hurled at us. But we made it there and home. And the next morning we woke to my spoken wishes the evening before come true —Β  magical soft sunlight over a white, crisp and misty winter wonderland.

power-lines-in-snowy-haze

light-crown-in-mist

I forgot about my coffee and threw my coat on, then spent over an hour walking around the farm as I aimed my lens in all directions. The air was so invigorating. Oh, and there is no way I could ever possibly describe in words the light that hits these buildings, and the mellow warmth in the tones reflected in spite of the cold. I feel like I could live in winter for an eternity and never grow tired of it. What drains me — and others, I’m sure — about winter these days are all those in-between days, when there is no snow yet no bare ground, either. Just a sea of grey slush. Makes me wish in the most deepest and secret parts of me that we lived even further north.

But, of course, I can’t move the farm. The entire village, even. Three hundred years of history and heritage isn’t something easily walked away from. And it’s just one of those cozy-feel day dreams, anyway. It wouldn’t even take a day to drive up to those vast, white rolling hills and mountains, and that is a blessing in itself. Not to mention our farming wouldn’t work up on the tundra. I suppose we could become reindeer farmers? Not sure Jay would buy into that, though. Haha

magical-hazy-glow-over-barn

soft-winter-light-on-wagon-house

I think it so very easily happens, no matter what we wish or dream about, that we begin taking it for granted. Especially when we struggle. Life is so full of ups and downs, and when we enter those valleys the dark can press us so heavily that we forget to look at the beauty of it, too. This is where I have been for some time now, wandering through a deep and gloomy haze, but for the past couple of days I sense an adjustment. I am getting ready to accept that this is where I am. Now. I am tired, exhausted even, and uninspired most of the time. I get sucked into a vortex together with all my better judgment, my plans and creative ideas, yet when I try to grab at even one thing it scuttles off into the fog and leaves me empty and crestfallen. The smallest setback leaves me standing at the end of the world, or makes me want to go to bed and sleep until it’s all over. In many situations it seems all that negativity I used to carry around, ghosts of old, and bad habits converge on me and I buckle under their attacks.

a-lonely-ladder

I looked at this ladder up against the window to what is to be our bedroom, and I thought to myself I didn’t even take it back after I cleaned the windows. It has been sitting there for a couple of months, now, if not more. But do you know what I also see? That old birch and how I love looking at it when I get my morning coffee. I have so often taken photos from that window, and that birch always makes every image so beautiful.

I think it’s one thing — aΒ good thing — to be able to turn toward the good things, to count our blessings. But something I struggle with is to look those ghosts of mine in the eye and just let them be as they are. I often treat them like my worst enemies, like diseases I need to abolish, demons to be exorcised. Or simply just problems and flaws that need to be fixed. That, in turn, leads to frustration and anger which I bombard myself with. The harder I fight, the harder they fight, and maybe it isn’t so strange I find it a losing battle. Those ghosts are me. Some say kill them with kindness, and I also remember from my childhood days what my Dad used to read from the Bible about loving our enemies. I never was told and I never could have grasped in the first place, anyway, that we could be our very own worst enemy. But I have learned this in later years, so maybe I should try to stop exiling those wailing wraiths in the deepest recesses of my mind? Maybe I should treat them with kindness and compassion? After all, they are reflections of me at times when I felt neither. I could try and see the strength in their survival, their persistence and perseverance, in spite of the anger and hatred they have been and are victims of. At one point in my life they were a bigger part of me and they helped me survive, if maybe not in the best ways.

To love the most when it’s deserved the least could possibly be the greatest power there is, but the hardest. I think that is especially true when it comes to the self. I have so often wondered how do I love myself, anyway? What does it mean? I still can’t grasp an answer for that, but perhaps it’s a start to stop trying to divide myself, which seems to be exactly what I do when I look at those parts of myself as a problem to be fixed.

moon-among-old-buildings

the-moon-in-misty-magical-winter-wonderland

Oh, you know, I have started this next paragraph now several times over — each time with something different — because I keep zoning out when I look past my screen and into the snowfall outside the window. I want to tell you about what I have been up to these past couple of weeks, the ups and downs, my stress-induced ulcer and the deep doubts I have felt in pursuing this creative and artistic lifestyle, but as I mentioned further up I am lost in this vortex where I can’t grasp things. I start to write something and then forget what I was getting to. This is my way, but it’s so much more intense lately, and probably the very reason why I haven’t updated. But after that beautiful winter morning, and all the photos I took, I have little by little managed to summon motivation to write in spite of the time it takes.

swans-emigrating
At one moment, when I stood on the road behind our barn on that magical morning, I heard the call of swans. With the white haze and glow from the sun I had trouble pinpointing where they were, and when I finally got the focus of the lens to agree with me, they were so far away. I do remember thinking, though, that I’m not the only one out doing things in the last minute. I’m not actually sure when birds emigrate or if swans even do, but a couple of more groups like this one passed over my head while I was outside that day.

winter-birches

magical-glowing-light-behind-old-sauna

Another big motivator right now in writing this post is to give you all a sign of life, but also to tell you that I have decided to consciously take a Christmas holiday. I will be doing the same with Instagram — perhaps more importantly with Instagram, since lately I have felt such an obligation to post, and that wasn’t at all why I started sharing my photos.

sun-flare-through-spruce-hedge

cozy-lamp-in-spruce-adorned-window

It’s so strange how when I write these big posts and get to the end I feel like I haven’t said what I really wanted to say. But, once again, it’s probably a case of that incredible inability right now to link things together. I can’t even make sense of the words I have written. I want to erase it all and just post the photos, but at the same time I don’t want to hide this part of me because it’s very possible this is just one of the seasons within me. One of the cycles which I go through from time to time. So instead of closing the doors and telling visitors she can’t see you right now, she’s not doing well, I just want to say this is me, too. I’m not sick. I’m not unwell. I’m just a little all over the place right now. I want to be okay with the way I am at this moment in time and let myself be just like this.

soft-light-on-timber-and-old-buildings

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And at last I want to thank all of you who have signed up to follow my blog. I don’t think I expected any more than just a few, even if I hoped. Either way it has really meant so much to me you found something here to capture your interest. I also enjoy so much to see your thoughts and reflections over what I have written, the photos I have shared, and it warms my heart that you are still here, even if I am absent for longer periods or in spite of my texts being a little messy — at times more so, haha. Even you who don’t comment and give me a like. Thank you. I look at the traffic to my blog and no matter how much or little reaches any of you, I am thankful for the opportunity to connect.

magical-soft-light-shining-into-the-yard

A big hug to all of you. Have the most amazing Christmas holidays, and I will see you in the new year. All my love. ❀

Posted by

I'm Lotta. I live on a farm in southwestern Finland among oats, wheat, and swaying pines. With photography and words I show the journey toward building my life-long dream of telling inspirational and unforgettable stories through images. I am so glad you are here to share this experience. <3

7 thoughts on “Dressed In Winter And Taking A Holiday

  1. Hello Lotta, I really hope you are well,
    Sorry I haven’t been able to comment sooner, but I guess everybody gets really busy around Christmas, I did spent last night trying to post a comment , but each time I tried to post the comment disappeared ! is it me or the computer πŸ˜‰ ? maybe there will be an avalanche of unposted comments when this finally sticks ! πŸ™‚
    As always you have managed to mix some lovely pictures with very thought provoking words, how beautiful to walk round your farm in the light and the snow (I wouldn’t have forgotten the coffee though ! πŸ˜‰ ) Yes I know exactly what you mean about moving further north, but it is so easy to take for granted the beauty all ready surrounding us.
    My favourite picture is the one with the ladder, it really adds extra interest to the picture, it creates extra angles, and it metaphorically and physically makes the viewer ask questions, “what was it used for or what is it going to be used for , where is it leading , does it represent something we are climbing towards ?” (sorry gone all art critic style πŸ˜‰ ) it doesn’t matter that it was there by accident, it is the happy result, like always counting your blessings.
    I always find it strange when you mention your doubt about your words, surely the results speak for themselves, myself and your readers love them, you mention them being a little messy and not turning out as you thought, who cares, they take on there own life each time you write them, that’s what makes them so real, its just like going for a walk in the woods and coming home a little messy but satisfied, well that’s just like real life.
    I hope to encourage you to keep writing my favorite blog , because you really do it so well, but you should never feel obliged like with Instagram , just post when you are happy to do so. I don’t have Instagram but I did manage to check them out, very good .
    Finally I wish you , Jay , Lilli , Loki and all your family a happy Christmas , hope to see you again in the new year .
    P.s. Remember to put some Porridge out on Christmas eve for the Fox and the Tomten ! Who knows we just pay you a visit πŸ˜‰
    P.s.s. happy Christmas Fernando , Pamela , Elmiri and all your readers and followers
    P.s.s.s. Sorry everybody if this post’s multiple times I think its third attempt so far and each time I write it gets less spontaneous as I try and remember what I said last time ! I really should plan better πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ian! Haha, I have to start by telling you the funny thing about your comments. A couple of weeks ago I went into the second, more complicated admin panel of my blog (I keep forgetting I have two!) to look at my spam folder. It doesn’t fill up so much anymore since I have sorted through it earlier on to block real spam and approve actual comments. But when I looked at it a couple of weeks ago there were a couple of comments from you — these very ones. I have NO idea why they ended up there, but I want to let you know that you didn’t forget what you originally wrote and they were just as lovely as this one. Not much difference at all! πŸ˜‰

      I was so very happy to read your comment in December and it felt like sitting down with that kind of friend who always manages to sort out the mess in your head and put things in order so you can see them from a clearer perspective. I have this persistent habit of getting stuck in circles when I undertake something I want to turn out the best, and it’s kind of like when you try to look at something too closely and your eyes cross. Haha, I hope that makes sense. I really loved your comparison of my posts to a walk in the forest, and I am SO happy to hear my blog has that effect on you. πŸ™‚ And your comments always leave me feeling encouraged, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for that. ❀

      I also loved reading your reflections on the photo with the ladder! It wasn't too art critical-like at all. If anything those provoked thoughts are JUST what I feel photography is about for me. To tell a story that the viewer can interpret in his or her very own way. I love, love, love this about any medium of telling stories through art. To ponder what moved through the creator's head, what he or she felt, and so on. I will have to share more of these kind of photos now! Haha πŸ˜€

      I hope you, too, had a beautiful holiday and that you got to spend it with friends and/or loved ones. Thank you once again for being here and taking part in this journey of mine, and for your encouragement and support. Many hugs to you! ❀

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  2. hello lotta, I think I understand the processes that are happening, I miss you in these days of silence, and just yesterday I asked for you on the facebook page, I have no instagram, but in the week I see the photos and comments that you do, and I made an idea of things.

    Since I discovered you, I liked your blog, for the sake of telling and writing your daily reflections and life, I identify with many things that you share, and I understand perfectly when you say, that you do not write with a thread, that You even lose the address of the writing, Charlotte, I really like to read you, and I also live moments like those you describe, where I lose my own inspiration.

    I know, perfectly, what it feels like to be a foreigner in a world or society like the one we live in, and to fight to survive, without dying in the attempt.

    At this moment, it happens to me just like you, I try to write, and I want to erase the written, because I think I’m not being clear on what I’m trying to express, not only because of the language difference, I sincerely hope, that the reflections that I shared with you, can be useful, because I have felt every line of what you have written.

    that this vacation that you will take, be of benefit, and that these Christmas holidays with your family, are to share in the privacy of your home, and forget about the madness that dominates these dates.

    I’ll be waiting for news from you, and see you in January 2018.
    I wish you and your family all the best.
    a strong, tight and hot arm for you, from these southern lands to those icy northern lands. (that I like so much)

    your friend fernando.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Fernando! Thank you SO much for this heartfelt comment. When I read this in December it went straight to the heart and I felt all the less alone in my struggles. I think it so very often happens that when we want to truly open up and speak from the heart, no matter in what language or how much we feel we can grasp writing in a foreign one, it becomes challenging, but I never feel like what you write is confusing. It’s always so thoughtful and I feel the honesty and sincerity in your words. They always mean so much to me, only sometimes I might not know how to respond since I feel I don’t know how to truly thank you for the time and thought you put into your writing. It often goes like that. Even when I talk to people face to face. All the same I am very thankful to have you here to join me in my journey and to take part in what you share of your own. I look forward to continuing doing so this year. I hope you had wonderful holidays and that you got to spend it with loved ones. πŸ™‚ Many hugs. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Lotta, I enjoy your posts and just want to encourage you to persevere. I am in the process of getting my blog off the ground. It is set to private at the moment until I can pluck up the courage to go ahead. I can relate to so much that you have been sharing in many of your previous posts. One of the things that I have discovered is the meaning of ‘cognitive dissonance’ – in short that is when you are experiencing tremendous stress because you do not live out what you truly believe in your heart. I feel you struggle with that too, maybe? Anyway, hopefully we will chat again.
    Blessings, ElmiriX

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hello Elmiri! I’m so touched to hear you can relate to what I write, that means so much! To put my inner turmoil into words often becomes a helpful motivator, regardless of how difficult it can be, because I hope that in some way, somewhere, it will resonate with someone, and if only in some small way help them feel less alone in their own struggles, whatever they may be. So when someone tells me like what you told me, that you can relate, it really goes straight to the heart. ❀ And I can very much relate to what you say about working up the courage to publicise a blog. I had one before this which I never took out of private, even if I did try blogging a couple of times many years ago. It never stuck with me then, but I think I just wasn't ready — it wasn't time just yet. I do hope, and I am sure that moment comes — I'm also sure it differs from person to person — that you will find that very own motivator of yours. πŸ™‚ As much as it can be an agonising experience to let our words out into the world I have also found it has been (and still is) therapeutic. And you mentioned 'cognitive dissonance' — I had to google this because I had never heard it before. I can say now though that it definitely feels like something I might be struggling with. And for many years. I must read a little more about it now. It sounded really interesting. Thank you for sharing this with me, and also for your encouragement. I will definitely be back after Christmas with more posts. I do hope to see you again in the comments, I'm so glad you stopped by. πŸ˜€ Many hugs, and a beautiful Christmas to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sincere thanks for your reply to my comment. Have a blessed time of rest. One of the things I admire most about you is your willingness to be so transparent and allowing people to see even the parts that you struggle with in your life. I also think you have a wonderful ability to write and translate yourself into words. We will meet again after Christmas…….

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