I wake up to a bright light and the smell of old wood. All I can hear is the birds singing and the wind whispering in the trees. I open my eyes and tilt my head so that I can see the sky and the trees. The sun is about to rise and quickly I put on my yoga pants and my favorite knitted sweater. Silently, I walk out of the bedroom, carefully avoiding the floorboards I know are squeaking the most.
Halfway down the stairs to the ground floor, a loud squeaking appears as I’m putting my foot in the wrong place. I stand still for a minute or two, waiting to see if I woke Kalle up. It seems like he’s still asleep. I continue, watching every step I take. I pass through the living room and the kitchen before I reach the door. I sneak out, lock the door behind me and put my feet in the dewy grass. It feels cold so I hurry to get to the dirt road that leads to our house. I start walking and soon I’m on top of the very steep hill that leads down to the house. When I’m on the top I suddenly feel the warm sun on my skin. It’s rising behind the old trees and it’s as beautiful as always. I keep walking and the sound of nature waking up is all I can hear.
On my way, I pass several abandoned houses and I stop for a moment to think about those who once lived there. A rustling, swishing sound awakens me from my dreams and as I turn around I see a ginger-colored cat. I sit down and the cat runs towards me. I pet him for a while and then tell him that I have to keep walking. He follows me for a while but suddenly he sees a bird by the side of the road and trying to catch it becomes more important. So I keep walking.
Suddenly a dear jumps out just in front of me. She runs across the road and just behind her come two fawns. I stop to watch them and I’m careful to not scare them. They run across the meadow on my right side and as I look at them I see that a family of hares has gathered to feast on the dewy meadow grass. I see at least five of them. I try to photograph them but my camera lens isn’t made for long distances like that. I give up and keep walking.
One of the abandoned houses I pass on my way. I wonder who once lived there?
The road makes a turn and just behind some trees is a cow pen. I walk a little closer and I start talking to the beautiful steers standing there. They are curious and they come to say hello. I pet them for a while and then I decide that I need to go back home. I snap a few pictures and then I return home.
It’s warmer now, compared to when I left. I must have been out for almost an hour by now. On my way home I take another way, the one through the forest. I know that there are raspberries there and I decide to pick a handful for our breakfast. The forest path ends just outside our garden and carefully I sneak back into the house. It seems like Kalle is still sleeping so I decide to put on my bikini and go for a short swim before I prepare breakfast. Since it’s a lake lot, you just have to walk through the garden to get down to the water. Having your private beach like that, that’s just amazing. The water is always cold in the morning, but I take a swim anyway.
As I get back to the house the sun has found its way over the treetops and the patio is drowning in sunbeams. I prepare coffee, two bowls of oatmeal topped with raspberries from the forest and two glasses of fresh juice. I wake Kalle up and we enjoy our breakfast outdoors. Maybe we’ll spend a day working in the garden, maybe we’ll go for a walk or maybe we’ll just read books or go out to pick blueberries. We don’t know yet, and that’s probably the best thing about spending time here.
I wrote this little story/diary last summer when we spent about a week in the summer house. Spending time there makes me so calm and happy and it really gives my mind time to rest. It’s like my sanctuary, where stress and pressure are not welcome. It’s a place where I can truly relax and be free.
Do you have a sanctuary like this? Or just a place you use to go to when you feel stressed? A place that always put a smile on your face?