An Easter Greeting

Good morning my dear readers. It’s Good Friday and the rest of the house is quiet apart from our freezer humming in the room next to me, and there is a subtle whoosh of water going through the radiators. I just settled in in front of my screen with a mocha coffee. For Christmas last year Jay and I got one of those one-cup coffee machines for ourselves, and ever since I have been almost addicted to using a shot of dark chocolate in my first cup of coffee every day. I have consciously been trying to reduce my caffeine intake, though, especially at night. Some days it works, some days not so well. I read that if you have trouble with your thyroid, caffeine is not good. A couple of regular sized cups a day is all right, but on average I drink way more than that so I thought I would try to cut down, at least until I know whether or not an underactive thyroid is what is causing my tiredness and anemia.

Before I write anything else I really want to say thank you all for the so, so lovely comments on my last post. I know I might be silly thinking this way, but somehow I always end up feeling that with having become so inactive on my blog, and taking forever to reply to comments, I somehow don’t deserve anyone’s attention. I have made friends over the years with whom I have lost contact because I am so terrible at keeping in touch. It’s hard to explain to someone I know why I get like that — it never has anything to do with that I don’t care for them or don’t value their friendship. After a while I feel so incredibly dumb for declining invites over and over, and somehow trying to explain why leaves me feeling like I fraud. I want to get better at this, though, because I do understand silence and avoidance only leaves the other person wondering and questioning if they are at fault. This happened just recently and it gave me a thorough shake and a kind of eye-opener. Any state of depression or exhaustion is a lonely place; I like to have my own space but this loneliness is so very different than choosing retreat when I just need to refuel. Instead of consciously craving to be alone I want closeness but can’t reach out. It’s like becoming trapped in my own misery. I drown in it. The shame takes over and makes that distance all the more difficult to cross. Can you recognise the feeling?

in-my-walking-clothes

To write down how I feel, and to try and paint a picture of what it’s like on the inside is somehow so much easier when I write a blog post. I really wonder why that is. Of course, the language is one factor — I may be able to speak Finnish well, and I have heard so many times how good I am at speaking the language, but it’s only in general conversation. I have no idea what words to use or how to converse about emotional topics in Finnish. Several years ago when I went to therapy, I got to speak with a therapist who knew Swedish. When that wasn’t an option I switched to English when I couldn’t express myself in Finnish. I have actually thought about this a lot lately, that maybe one side to how I am feeling is that I am a foreigner. I may have lived in Finland on and off for ten years now, but I can still feel totally alien. It is definitely my own fault — I have isolated myself out here on the farm and haven’t actively worked to seek a social life outside the family.

I could write so much more on this, but what I wanted (before I got carried away) was to show you that pot I painted, and to share some photos from the past week, and some from before that. The sun is getting warmer every day now and the snow is melting. I can’t tell you how absolutely divine it is to stand outside on the warmer days. Spring really is staking a claim on the earth now, and even though I have been outside so little this year, I still have many photos I haven’t shared with you yet. But first — the pot!

finished-result-of-painted-pot

close-up-of-painted-pot

I really am so happy with the results. I had many ideas on how to paint this pot, but after layering the colours I was so pleased with the texture I didn’t want to do anything else to it. It also reminded me of how much I really love working with my hands, and it has motivated me even further to fight this mind fog so I can do more. For example I have a big IKEA bag full of drift wood I brought with me to Finland last year (and even more in the garage, some up against a wall next to the office, and more in a cardboard box, haha) with which I had many plans and ideas. Some of you might remember the frame I made out of drift wood for a painting last year.

That the light (or lack thereof) can do so much to a person is something which fascinates me and leaves me in a sense of wonder. Some weeks back I sat and went through some photos. I had just come back inside from a walk around the old buildings here on the farm. It was just above zero but the snow dwindled silently and the wet flakes left me with a chill, so I didn’t linger too long. As I sat with these photos I noticed that instead of snow covering the evergreens, there were water droplets everywhere. A mixture of relief and giddiness surged through me and I almost started crying.

 

water-droplets-on-the-spruce-needles

retro-tones-and-dew

Since then we have had some really cold days, with temperatures of ten below zero or more, and others much warmer. One day we had six above. This time is almost holy to me. These fluctuations mark the end of winter and beginning of spring and it’s like every cell in my body comes alive to respond to it. At times it catches me off guard and I become so overwhelmed by the sensation tears fill my eyes. Do you experience similar things? Or is there something in particular that signifies end of winter or beginning of spring for you?

catkins

Another symbol of spring for me are the catkins. I noticed the first ones on a very cold day several weeks ago, and I was so surprised to see them there in a landscape still embedded in snow and wintry shimmer. That day was so magical, though, and I stayed outside longer than my hands could handle. The warmth of the sun on my face had me entranced. The song of birds created the most beautiful symphony mixed up with Loke’s and my own slow, crispy steps across glittering fields.

paw-prints-in-the-snow

me-soaking-up-the-sunlight

I am actually wearing my PJ pants in this photo above, haha. They have been the most comfy pants but I had to brave the shops and hunt down a new pair since the fabric has gotten so so thin. I suppose it doesn’t matter when only Jay, Lilli and Loke are around, but sometimes our kitchen or dining room becomes an office or conference area when there are meetings related to the farming business. I usually make myself scarce at those times, but I still imagine it looks odd for someone to walk around in PJ’s in the middle of the day. 😉 Especially extremely worn PJ’s. Haha

One evening when the sun stood low, I looked out toward the trees where our road leads off the farm. The most amazing light painted the tree trunks and branches in an almost fiery pink/red, and I rushed through the house to gather my camera and tripod. When I got outside, I switched direction and went for our lower fields instead, distracted by the colour in the sky. Ever since I have wanted to show you this ethereal sunset. By the time I was satisfied I had enough photos of it, the sun had dropped lower and the light was gone from the trees.

sunset-over-snowy-fields

Can you see the reflections on the snow? I was in complete awe as I stood there. It was cold but the sun still set rather quickly then, so I managed to get back inside before my fingers froze. It’s incredible how fast that changes now — how the sun’s descent slows down and graces us with these gorgeous colours for longer and longer with each day passing. I was here about a week before this photo was taken to capture the subtle grace of this late winter light. Then I found an icy wonderland behind our storage building and crept around with my tripod in the bushes to get some closeups until my hands were on fire with the cold.

icy-wonderland

icicle-magic-in-sunset

molten-ice

It was after these photos I was in so much pain I didn’t know what to do with myself. Regardless, I have to say they were worth it. With time it seems most pains subside, no matter how deeply they cut in the present, and it is in that transition I think it becomes easier to look beyond and see that even when we have been at our worst, when the nights were so dark, light was there. It kept us company. We were not alone — we never are truly alone.

icicles-on-the-roof-edge

Our house is waking up now, but before I leave I would like to wish you all a beautiful Easter, and show you a couple of photos of the flowers I bought. Getting those plants just made me want even more! 😀

lily-of-the-valley

daffodils

me-and-lily-of-the-valley
Lily of the Valley might be my absolute favourite flower

Once again, thank you all so much for the inspiration you truly give me. I am also so happy and grateful for the feedback you gave me after my request in my last post, and I have already taken some photos to share together with the story of my tattoo, so that might be up next! I would also like to take this opportunity to say that if you ever think of something you would like me to write about or to photograph don’t be shy to let me know. I will try to honour most requests. ❤

Much love, hugs and a happy Easter weekend!

my-tattoo
“Strength, Courage, Wisdom” ❤

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 “An Easter Greeting

      1. hello pamela, about two months ago I asked him on his facebook page the same, and I copy what he answered, for those who are interested … greetings.

        Hello Fernando, and thank you so much for your message and thoughtfulness. I am doing all right, but I have consciously let the blog rest for now since I have had very little energy, both mentally and physically. I do have every intention to return to it, but I need to take care of myself better than I did before, which also includes less time spent on social media. 🙂 I hope you are having a good week and I wish you the lovelies summer! Many hugs.

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  1. Glad to see your plant is still looking healthy! 😀 I also adore lily of the valley – so pure and delicate.

    If you ever feel like catching up for coffee with a fellow foreigner, I will be living in Satakunta very soon 🙂

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  2. hello lotta, your words are very nice, your words are very welcome.

    I am also addicted to real coffee, coffee machines, and I also recognize that I must moderate, I only consume on weekends.

    I recognize myself in many things that you describe, I think it is a feeling of being “foreign” of the world, of how life is developing here, regardless of the country where one lives, it is true that there are differences, but really, we are all human , and that is what we have lost, having that feeling, personally, of being a foreigner on earth, of being a piece that does not fit in this machine. when you see beyond the limits of nationalities and cultural differences, (keeping certain proportions, of course), you discover that we have more things that unite us that separate.

    everyone suffers, alone, has hate, resentment, sorrow, hides things, is dissatisfied, but all this, and this is the most sinister, is filled with the secret spring of envy, fill this existential void, with things, money , drugs and pills that promise forgetfulness or happiness, really promise forgetfulness. many things that we do not need, to repeat the wheel again, once I hear something about this, like “humanity is the great orphan.”

    the important thing is to realize.

    the topic of friendships, I recognize that it happens to me also. in my case, I realize that they bore me, and that always happens, more common than I would like, ha ha ha … I like having my space. It seems that I am an antisocial! Hahaha…

    the pot is very well painted, very nice, you can see that there is talent in your hands, also in writing.

    the changes of seasons have something very special, I understand when you speak of that feeling that you describe, you are not the only person to live it.

    It is very funny when you describe the climate where you live, here in winter it is also cold, but where you live, wow! you have to be brave, and when you talk about having a warmer day (+ 6 °), ha ha ha … warm that ?, ha ha ha, at this moment, as I write, there is a temperature of + 32 °, this is warm, ha ha ha … I must admit, I love the cold, the cloudy days have their magic, every season has it.

    You look very pretty in the photographs, you are gradually dominating the tencnicas to photograph, and those images of the red light, spectacular, light reflected in the snowy land. also the frozen water of the roof, without words, congratulations.

    I join the request that you write the history of the tattoo, although I remember that you once spoke about it, but it is not too much for us to explain it, and the symbols, accompanied by photographs.

    I wish you a happy Easter, everyone in your home and family,
    a warm embrace from a distance, Fernando.

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  3. Hi Lotta , Happy Easter to you and your family.
    What a fantastic picture you painted with your words , I could almost hear the water in the radiators and smell the Mocha 🙂 (you can’t have to much coffee, your Swedish so your immune to caffeine he he 😉 ) . The picture of the sunset is awesome , I didn’t notice the reflection until you pointed it out , great pictures.
    Also your flower pot looks great and it will be fun to see what you make with the drift wood this time.
    Hope you all have a good long weekend (Do you get a long weekend holiday in Finland ? I guess its busy on the farm no matter what the day.)

    Liked by 1 person

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