What’s the wood about?

atoz-WYou will have noticed that, whereas there are official Blogging from A to Z letters, I am using my own. I found out about this challenge the day before it started, and while I was still thinking about whether or not to join, I started to quickly make the alphabet, just in case.

So, where does this wood come from?

It is from an old farm building in Siljansnäs in Dalarna (Dalecarlia) in Sweden. It’s called MasOlles Gammelgård and is an open air museum, with buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries (one building even dates back to the 14th century).

We never went inside but walked by in the evening. Summer nights are bright in Sweden, and it’s difficult to describe the light you have then. A friend of mine once said that “the dark seems to come up from the ground, while the sky keeps hovering its light over it”. Yes, it’s something like that. Not easily captured on photo, but you might get an idea here, at least.

The evening photos are taken between 21.30 and 22.00, you can see it’s still very light. I throw in a few other landscape photos as well (this is a truly beautiful region), and will tell you more about what this wood means to me later.

Wood is beautiful. Wood smells clean, like nature’s own perfume. In Sweden, wood is what built all farm houses in the past. All the man work to cut trees, one by one, take care of the timber, saw, build and maintain.

When you see the light summer night, imagine the opposite, the winter. Freezing cold and long and dark. Sweden was a poor country in the past. I think of all the generations who struggled in this climate.

When I see old wooden houses like this, I think “survival”. All the generations of people who survived (without sushi or cafe latte or an emergency number to call). The (few) wooden houses that did not burn down or fall apart, exhausted by their own age, but that have survived and made it into today’s cultural heritage. So that we can see where we come from, and wonder what it was like to live then.

I love this old wood. For me, it is like an anchor, reminding me of my own roots. This is something else than the kings’ mansions and castles. This is about the people. For me, this wood is about survival, and about being aware and humble, for so many people have lived through both struggle and joy before us.

I wonder… What would an 18th or 19th century farmer and his wife blog about? What do you think?

15 thoughts on “What’s the wood about?

    • I had a similar thought. Perhaps their “blogging time” was simply to gather together in the evening and share stories/advice/gossip with each other (which they no doubt did while working with their hands, no time misspent).

  1. Jag tror att de skulle blogga om hur ska dom skaffa mat, hur ska dom ta bort alla stenar för att få gårdar för potatisen…
    Jättefin berättelse om Sverige och fina foto 🙂

    • Ja, det kunde de ha gjort, delat en massa erfarenhet och tips för att klara vardagen.
      (For those of you who missed your Swedish class ;-): Srdjana suggests they would blog about how to get food and remove all the stones from the fields to be able to grow potatoes. They could have shared experiences and tips around their basic needs.)

    • Thank you so much! I think on this one, I have to give some credit to the beautiful landscape of Dalarna, it has seductive powers. I get homesick when I see these images, and this is not even the region I come from!

  2. Beautiful … and so Sweden .. the view .. the landscape. Do you miss it ????
    Still today Norway build in wood .. big fantastic luxury villas in wood, wonder why we have stopped doing it ???? I love old wood too – old barns .. old wooden doors .. that shows the wear and tear from weather and wind. Beautiful post this ..
    I wish you a great weekend.

    • “… the wear and tear from weather and wind” – real old wood poetry that is, fantastic!
      I miss certain things, but I have this personal theory that in childhood, you get an imprint that stays with you for life. Mine is the Swedish nature, light summer/dark winter, water, forests, silence, fresh air, all that. It doesn’t mean that I need those things daily, but they do trigger a lot in me, always. It’s these “triggers” that I miss, the things that connect me to my past. You loose that when you move away. I find myself on “neutral ground” now. On the other hand, if I had never moved, I would probably never be “triggered” at all…
      Have a great weekend you too!

      • I agree with you … have lived abroad too for 23 years in total … and I missed Sweden at times, but it was always there and only a short flight away when the needs became too big. Understand exactly … and the same with appreciate Sweden to it’s full … you have to move abroad.

    • If you get the chance to, I recommend you to go there around midsummer, for the light nights. Can’t wait to get back to this region myself, actually… Thanks for your comment!

  3. Beautiful farm, reminds me of where I grew up. Would you recommend visiting Sweden during a European trip, I never had it high on my priority list of places to go, but now I’m starting to think differently…

    • I can absolutely recommend Sweden, it’s a beautiful country, especially in summer. On the other hand, Europe is full of beautiful and special places, even we Europeans rarely get the chance to explore enough of it! It also depends on what you are interested in, so perhaps you can just do some research, and then trust your gut feeling on where to go. I’m not really objective here, I guess… 😉

  4. Pingback: Goodbye, blue dragonfly | galeriaredelius

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