Summer Suddenly

On Thursday morning the sun was shining from a bright blue sky, the dandelions were blooming on the pavements and most of the trees had green leaves. On Friday the sun was shining from an equally blue sky, there were more and more flowers and the leaves were clearly bigger. On Saturday afternoon the sun kept shining, the air was warm and the bird cherries were in bloom. The cherry blossoms are already gone, the spring moves towards summer really fast. There is an expression in Swedish, ”mellan hägg och syren”, which means the time between bird cherries and lilacs, the days after the bird cherries are out and the lilacs are about to bloom. That is probably the most beautiful, precious and lovely time of the year. And obviously, since the bird cherries are on, now, that time is about to begin, soon.

The world of the spruces in the valley and the world of the pines on the hill are not that different, because they are all evergreen, although everything else around them is green now, too. And the tiny birch growing next to the small pine, which I hardly noticed in winter time, has grown big leaves, which hide me completely while sitting in the pine. What I thought would be an image of a pine, or an image of a human being in a pine, turned out to be an image of a pine and a birch.

The three images where I am swinging or hanging in the big pine are here again joined together, to show the potential movement when combined, later. The change in the direction of the light makes all the difference:

The real novelty this week was the company of a visitor on Friday, a violinist who likes playing together with birds that I met at the seminar at Uniarts on Wednesday. She was interested in how to perform with plants, so I invited her to join me on my walk in the woods to see what I was doing, and to try sitting in the pine (as in the image above) and on the stub, too, as can be seen here:

She was listening to the very silent trees, although the woods themselves were not at all silent. On the contrary, the whole environment was full of sounds – not only all kind of birds and other critters but a lot of running and walking humans and man-made machines like cars, trams, helicopters, trains, trucks and whatever, even church bells were audible in the distance. It was strange to share the actual practice, rather than only the result, but why not? I suggested she choose a place where she would like to play, and then I could perhaps sit in a tree or with a plant there, or make an image in some manner…

On Saturday I went for my walk in the afternoon and was surprised at how tired I felt. I have no reason to be tired, now, I am not working too hard, I am sleeping enough and eating enough, so feeling tired seems strange. Am I really getting old or what? Returning from the woods I was a little less tired, but still… Although it is scary to think that I might actually feel more and more tired in the coming years, there is a nice aspect to it as well. When tired I am moving more slowly and get to notice a lot more in my surroundings. For instance the first butterfly of the year, which was small and beautiful with white and orange wings, of a type unknown to me. According an old saying the colour of the first butterfly will tell you what the summer will be like: white for peaceful, yellow for joy, but what about white with orange borders?

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Annette Arlander


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