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the great outdoors

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Mont Sainte Odile | Photo journal

DE – La und Christer sind diese Woche in Ribeauvillé, juhuu! Am Montag waren wir zusammen auf dem Odilienberg, einem ehemaligen Kloster mit Heilquelle. Da konnte man schön im Wald wandern, wie ihr seht:

EN – La and Christer are here in Ribeauvillé this week, yay! On Monday we went to Mont Sainte Odile, a former convent with a medicinal spring. We went for a little hike in the woods, as you can see:

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Food Hallelujah Amen | Vrångö, Sweden

SVENSKA – Älskade La ska gifta sig! Såklart att hon måste få en möhippa. För att fira i Las anda krävs det följande: umgås med fina vänner, skratta mycket (några tårar är absolut tillåtna), äta en massa god mat och mest av allt: njuta av naturen. Las väninna Tove hittade det perfekta stället som möjliggjorde allt detta: KajkantenVrångö utanför Göteborg.

ENGLISH – Lovely La is getting hitched! Of course we had to throw her a bachelorette party. Celebrating La-style means hanging out with great friends, laughing (crying is ok, too), eating a ton of food, and most of all: enjoying nature. Her friend Tove found the perfect location for this shindig: Kajkanten on Vrångö, one of the islands of the southern Gothenburg archipelago.

DEUTSCH – Die liebe La heiratet! Da darf ein Junggesellinnenabschied natürlich nicht fehlen. Feiern à la La bedeutet mit lieben Freundinnen abhängen, lachen (weinen ist auch erlaubt), jede Menge essen und vor allen Dingen: Natur genießen. Las Freundin Tove hat dafür den perfekten Ort gefunden: den Kajkanten auf Vrångö, einer der südlichen Schäreninseln Göteborgs.

SVENSKA – Tack La för att du finns och berikar våra liv med ditt ljus – inte bara denna helgen. Och tack att du har så fina vänner! Tack Tove att du fixade ett härligt boendet (och massa mer). Tack tjejer för en underbar tjejhelg. Och tack Håkan för Kajkanten. Vilken glädje att få uppleva hur det känns att få se solnedgången på ön och sedan vila huvudet under ett vackert tak. Helt klart bättre än att behöva lämna ön med sista färjan.

ENGLISH – Thank you, La, for being La, and for shining your light on us – not just this weekend. And thanks for having such wonderful friends! Thank you, Tove, for scoring this awesome accommodation (and so much more). Thank you, ladies, for a great girl’s weekend. And thank you, Håkan, for Kajkanten. What a dream to be able to see the sunset on Vrångö and laying our heads to rest under such a pretty roof. Much better than having to catch the last ferry to return to the mainland.

DEUTSCH – Danke La, dass es dich gibt und du unser Leben mit deinem Licht berreicherst – nicht nur an diesem Wochenende. Und danke, dass du so tolle Freundinnen hast! Danke Tove, dass du so eine tolle Unterkunft organisiert hast (und jede Menge mehr). Danke Mädels für ein tolles Mädelswochenende. Und danke Håkan Kajkanten. So schön erleben zu dürfen, wie es ist, auf der Insel den Sonnenuntergang zu sehen und sich unter einem so schönen Dach schlafen legen zu dürfen. Viel besser, als mit der letzten Fähre nach Hause fahren zu müssen.

On choices

As some of you know, I have lived a pretty secluded life over the past few years. House on the Swedish countryside, no internet at home, limited cell phone use, long distances to my friends and not very travel-friendly (or super travel-friendly, depending on how you look at it – pretty much every outing was a trip in its own rights).

I am grateful for the experience. It taught me to appreciate and value things I didn’t use to pay much attention to – or that I even used to avoid. Being close to nature. Being alone with myself without any distractions. Stillness, both on the outside and within me.

On my good days, I could appreciate the gift that this period of my life was, even then. On my bad days, I hated that I didn’t have a choice.

If I allowed myself to give up my resistance and surrender to what it was I would have wanted to distract myself from, I always came out on the other side being thankful for it. I don’t know if I’d had the strength to make myself do that if I’d had a choice.

More often than not I was glad to have an excuse to switch my phone off and not be available all all the time. I found that I am not as adverse to being outdoors as I thought I was, moreover: I discovered the deep feeling of connection to all living things that you only experience when you find yourself fully immersed in the beauty of nature. There’s no cell phone plan for that.

Having gone through those experiences, especially through my own resistance, I can see how I benefit from them now that I am in a different place, where I suddenly do have all those choices I wanted so badly back then.

I can actually feel the need to go outside and find a place where I feel close to nature because I know now that these are places where I connect with myself. I can feel the need to turn my computer and phone off at a certain point during the day. I am not afraid anymore of missing out if I’m not connected to social media 24/7. I understand now that when the feeling arises that I am losing touch with myself, the answer is never to be found outside of myself, in distraction. I always find it by turning inwards, towards whatever shape that feeling comes in. It may be triggered by my mind getting hung up on something someone said, or something I read somewhere that struck a chord.

Therefore I continue to be grateful for knowing the place where the lack of choices forced me to turn to the only thing that was left: facing myself. Now that I am in a place again where I have many options, this makes it easy for me to choose.

Facing ourselves, tackling that resistance even when we technically don’t have to, when we could distract ourselves, is always worth it. For all the things we try to avoid seeing in and about ourselves lead to great treasures.

Project of the day | The sunny season’s living-room

Today I am going to take on balkonia, and hopefully turn this sadness into something … well, better.

Yes, I was lazy in the fall. Just left the plants right where they were. Guess I’m paying for that today. Maybe I can get Peter to take care of it?

 

Imagine me with kids …
Can you find all the miserable plants in this picture?

Can’t get so much worse, right? Here’s to hoping that I’ll be able to show you some after pix tonight.

Have a wonderful Saturday everyone!