After yesterday's storm, I filled the thermos with tea, put on warm mittens, loaded the heavy camera tripod on our little handcart and went into the woods. The air was crispy and fresh today, as if someone has had an enormous Christmas cleaning in the forest last night. I picked fir branches, beechnuts and moss to decorate our house with and even found blooming periwinkle and a few snowberries, a last farewell gift by Mister Autumn who had stayed much longer this year in our neck of the woods.
In the forest, about twenty minutes walk over hedge and ditch, there is an abandoned hunters hut. Although I have never seen anyone up there, the traces around the weathered cabin and a few things behind the blind windows tell me that every now and then someone turns a key in the rusty lock.
For quite some time I have been dreaming about a little hut just for myself. A cabin surrounded by old beech trees, in the middle of the forest, just like this one, not far away from our home. With a window on each side to let in the light and nothing in it but a table and a chair and a woodstove to keep me warm while poring over ideas. A place for reflection, like a hermitage, where I could enjoy the quiet for an hour or two every day before walking back home, through the woods, over hedge and ditch.
For now, building a proper greenhouse and converting a part of the barn next to our house into a larger studio are far higher up on our list of priorities. Still, I am dreaming about that little place of mine, a hermitage where I can leave the everyday bustle behind me for some time to refresh my mind.
I don't remember when my wish for a little cabin just for myself started growing. Years ago, when I read about a beautiful wood hermitage in a magazine, I cut out the photo below to keep it for inspiration - probably that was the beginning.
To my surprise, Sandra of Atilio, one of my favourite Swedish bloggers, wrote about a drawing she is hosting at the moment: The lucky winner will be spending a creative weekend together with a group of bloggers, photographers and writers at the Wood Hermitage of Urnatur - and she posted the photo of a tree house that I still have in one of my sketchbooks.
The Wood Hermitage is a beautiful retreat that, as part of an organic farm, consists of several small cabins and tree houses in a forest area near Ödeshög in Östergötland, Sweden. A magic place where you can reconnect with nature and where you can experience the beauty of the woods with all your senses.
For several years, I have been wanting to visit Urnatur, and when I read about Sandra's drawing, I decided to try my luck. Because if you can't yet afford to have a cabin of your own, with just a window on each side to let in the light and nothing in it but a table and a chair and a woodstove to keep you warm while poring over ideas, you could simply rent it, right? Or, for that matter, spend a weekend in the merry company of other creative people in one of the beautiful cabins at Urnatur.
And after a day or two, or maybe three, the hermit in you will start longing after the everyday bustle of your home again, I promise...
P.S. Ah, and before I forget: Happy St. Lucia to all of you! Remember what happened to Kiki last year?
|© image no.7 by courtesy of Urnatur.|