You 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?