Temperatures are dropping here as a huge high-pressure system sits on the northern Baltic Sea, bringing glorious, fresh, crispy clear days and plummeting temperatures by nightfall. The dark of the moon allows a dazzling canopy of stars, razor sharp in the unpolluted northern Swedish skies and the Northern Lights grace the hills behind Borka.
Quite simply, life is ecstatic and I wish Free were able to bear the inevitable freeze, which will cast Hälsingland into a hard Nordic winter. The harsh reality is that I am ill-equipped to face it and must come south, leaving my old friend on her wooden cradle to sit out the ferocious northerly storms, returning with the Spring time next year.
These are the last few days before the chance to meet up with old friends again and share valuable human contact during the long winter months. I spend so much time alone in nature during my sailing that barely a word passes my lips, and people are a part of the Divine Lila, that cosmic dance that leaves no one alone; the eternal carousel that we must ride. So contact is necessary for that harmony, a balancing of the elements, if you will.
My philosophy to life is utterly simple and can be summed in four words:
I live for beauty…
This was the decision I made in my forty ninth year when questioning what lay ahead in that future void. Many folk were telling me that life was that of working all day, and living for the weekends and their families. That seemed fine in theory, but I could see no evidence of their contentment, just endless complaining about politics, and worldly man-made catastrophes, the futile longing for an end to the chaos and some peace; the spectre of Monday morning all to soon returning like a dreadful Banshee, tolling the bell of grim reality. Happiness was that elusive ghost, shimmering on the edge of one’s dreams, like a rainbow with its pot of gold.
I tried it, goodness knows I gave it my best shot, but the hollow, empty sense of ludicrous waste became too much to bear. Inside, I knew instinctively that that world cannot be changed and that it must come from within. Every one of us determines how we view life and whether to buy into the ‘la de dah’. For me the most powerful realisation I ever had was changing the lens… the way I saw the world. I woke up and there it was… freedom, our birthright.
Slavery is a state of mind.
Every moment is precious… every action valuable… every thought sacred. Time is a privilege for sure and can never be reclaimed. What one does now reverberates through the universe. Today I took ‘baby’, my small tender sailing into the fjord under a flawless blue sky with a keen, chilly breeze. The clarity of colour and the sensation of wind on one’s skin reminds me of my duty to myself, to live life in gratitude, a gift, never to be wasted.
Tonight the temperature is dropping and it is time for Bilbo my trusty wood stove to bring her warmth into Free, a chance to write, read and contemplate on a day lived with all my heart. As darkness paints the sky and the temperatures drop below zero, I am captivated and transfixed with the sheer bliss of living this life, despite its discomforts and dangers.
Quite simply, I feel humbled under the oncoming Scandinavian winter with its awesome forces. I think of my Viking ancestors and the courage they had as they survived the perils of former days, and am overcome with admiration and respect.
Soon I will leave it all behind, but tonight I thank the Norse Gods for their hospitality.