The end of an era.

We sold three of our cows today. Among them was Daisy, the one we've had since we started out. The one who has shared her beauty and milk with us so generously. The mothership.

Fortunately, they're not far away, just down the block really, which is comforting for tearful children who were sad to see her go. And it's strange, it's a bit like closing a chapter, it seems like I've been doing that a lot lately.

We are left with one cow, young Buttercup, who will have a calf in spring, so I guess we're not closing the book entirely.

Thank you, Daisy, for all your sweetness and patience!

Expressions of love.

We have a competition going, her and I, a friendly one - about who can express the most love for the other one. She'll write something on a note, like You are a rose to me, and I'll write back You have a beautiful soul, and on it goes, back and forth.

And this evening, when I was putting them to bed, she said, I have a big lake inside, it's full of love for you, and you can drink from it as much as you want. It will never go empty.

I think we have a winner.

Sleeping beauty.

{I'm sorry my boy, I hope you'll forgive me, but I can't help but share this:}

Falk can fall asleep anywhere, at any time. Suddenly the house will go quiet, and it'll register with me after a little while: He has fallen asleep somewhere. This was today's scene: Painted red in the face and black around the eyes (like a zombie, according to them), fast asleep flat out in a pile of clothes and toys in the playroom. Beautiful and disturbing at the same time.

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Homeschooling.

She was supposed to start school two weeks ago. Instead, she is with us, learning at her own pace, letting her natural curiosity drive. It feels right, and pretty great, too.

Goodbye, summer.

Summer is coming to an end I think, the warm weather has turned and the mornings are misty and raw. Some of the trees I can see from my office window at home have turned yellow and red in colour, some leaves have dropped. Although I dread the prospect of autumn all summer (I even start dreading it in spring!), it is somewhat a relief when it arrives. It takes the pressure off in a way, provides a freshness and clarity I always feel like I need at this point. I'm still busy, but more comfortably so now, I feel like I have room for more in my life again, and it feels good. Summertime has been crazy job wise, and with the new situation on top of that, adapting to a new life with all the emotional implications of it - well, I feel quite tired. Sleepy and slow. And that feels alright, too. I am working on being in things, not trying to change them too quickly - and man is that a challenge. I have always changed things quickly. I'm trying to stay put for a bit, in whatever state I am in. Whether it be melancholy or bliss or frustration or anger. Stay in it, look at it, don't judge, don't change. Just stay. And let go - of fear, of standards, of pressure. 

Always let go, even of summer.

Affirmation.

After I split up with my husband this spring, I have taken a journey inwards, to see who was there after all those years of struggling in my marriage. Who am I now? I had to see myself in that new light, just me, not a wife anymore, not representing anyone else but me. It was scary at first, I didn't know where to start. I contacted a lady I remembered from years back, a medicine woman, shaman, healer. In our first session she helped me find places within I'd never looked at properly, she helped me go straight to the core. She said many things, and so did I, and one of the most beautiful things were about the artist in me. She needs more space. I need to give her more room to play, to do things not streamlined but from the heart. To let my artistry shine through and into my business. To produce work with joy, all the way, all the time. To savour my artist soul and her integrity, and to trust that the work I produce is good enough to sustain this life for me and my children. It's hard sometimes, but I'm doing it, I am!

One and on top of the world!

Thank you for all your greetings on Ulv's first birthday! It's been great - and emotional for his mother, haha. He totally understood that something special was up, and being born in the sign of Leo, he likes his bit of attention and being at the centre of it all!

It has been a day of tears and laughter, of reflecting upon that day a year ago, upon the days in between, and most of all of cherishing and feeling the love for my amazing little cub. 

Here are some photos from the day, and I'll throw in a little video I made yesterday, too. Just to complete the Wolfie-overdose. 

Thank you, friends and strangers and the universe, I will go to bed with a smile on my face tonight.

Dear Wolfie.

Beautiful boy, you are loved.

You're sleeping now, I just put you to bed, you're in there in our big bed with your siblings, snoring away like you do. You are completely unaware of the date or the sentiment your mother is going through. And I guess that's a good thing.

It's the evening before your first birthday, a year after you were born downstairs from where I'm sitting now, in our living room. You will probably read this in ten years time, or I will read it to you before (most likely), and maybe you'll think I'm soft and weird (which is true), but I hope you will read one thing out of this: the Love.

I have been a mother of four people for a year now. For a year my heart has been fuller than ever, fuller than I imagined possible, beating with more force than ever before. You have completed my pack of cubs, you are the last in a line of crazy little people who came in and changed me forever. I am so thankful.

Your birth was a dream; it was everything I had ever wished for, and I am so proud of us for that. And although life was rough for us in the beginning, I am proud of us for that too, we nailed it, we made the best of it and came out on the other side. When things were chaotic and I was full of fear, you led the way, you showed me that you were fine, that all I had to do was be with you, hold you close, and let go. You were my spirit animal. You still are! You magical little person, so full of the joy of life, so fierce, so busy - always so busy! - and such a little star. You spread love wherever you go. You are a true earth baby, fearless and full of love for everything, open for everyone crossing your path. Big smiles all around, no fear. 

Ulv River, Wolfie, my wolf cub, you are my heart outside my body. I am so proud to be your mother. Your strength and determination is mind-blowing, your beauty makes my heart bubble and your love is fresh and pure and strong. You have taught me so much.

Thank you, my little friend, and happy first tour around the sun! 

(click on the images to see them big)

Ps: If you want to know more about Wolfie's story, there are several blog posts about it here.

Blueberries & a turning point.

A year ago on this day, we all went blueberry picking in the woods. I was so pregnant I could hardly move without having contractions (those so-called Braxton-Hicks), so I was mostly wandering very slowly around, taking some photos, while the rest of them were picking. Ten litres of blueberries, they picked. Ten litres of blueberries forgotten and fed to the pigs a week later.

Earlier that day, in the morning, we were sitting outside on the front porch, probably picking peas or beans from the garden out of their pods and preparing them for freezing. Chatting away, the kids and Nik and I. All of a sudden we saw three eagles in the sky, directly over our heads, soaring in a circle over us. It was fascinating. I remember thinking The baby is coming tomorrow, it felt like a sign or something.

That night when I went to bed, I couldn't settle. Something big was about to happen in my body and I knew it. I slept lightly for an hour or two, got up in the night and realized I was about to become a mother again.

For some reason, that blueberry picking has etched itself into my mind. Ronja took a couple of photos of me and Falk then, and they are some of my favourite photos of me. The embodiment of motherhood, so ripe with baby that I almost burst at the seams, so still and at the same time so powerful. Touching my boy on his head, feeling his hair, taking in what were some of the last moments when he was still my youngest. Moments captured on the brink of a new life, with all its chaos, rawness and bliss.

Afternoon bliss.

Have been cooped up in my office all day (at home), I have tons of work to catch up on after the holidays, so am trying to get back into some sort of discipline. It is hard! Although I love my work, I am a master of procrastination, and it is still summer, you know. So I hung out with my littles for a few hours in the afternoon, which was a lovely break from the screen. Freja had dressed up as a bride for the occasion, Falk and Ronja shot with bow and arrow in the field, Ulv was contently hanging on my back for the whole time. The cows came and said hi and we admired the sunflower patch and the vegetable garden. I noticed that Ulv's apple tree is the one carrying the most fruit of the four of them, could that be because of his placenta buried under it? There was a rain shower on the other side of the valley, but it didn't reach us. Falk ended up taking his clothes off and showering in the outside tap, which was the imperative to go in and put everyone in the bath. I realised it's been a while since I've bimbled around on the farm like this, I have been too busy. Must try to live at a slower pace. Must take time out to wander around even more.

I took my kids and went.

We came back a couple of days ago, and the next day I slept, slept for hours. It felt like I had been in a storm that suddenly turned quiet. 

I took my kids and went north. To my mum's cabin outside of Bodø, and to an island where a very special family lives. I'll tell you all about it, but I'll leave you with some photos for now. I need to sleep again.

A year ago:

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I can't believe how far away it seems. That belly, the heaviness, the anticipation of what was to come, the dullness of waiting. It feels a bit like a different lifetime. And inside there was a wolf cub, a little person ready to make a huge impact on the world around him. It was hard, that day and the ones that came, but there was a lot of love too, and magic.

 

⭐️ {photo by my wonderful friend Wenche whose third birth I will attend very soon} ⭐️

Camping in paradise, part two.

We've been back to this perfect place - and it isn't the last time. The simplicity of living like this is addictive.

And there is nothing cozier than to snuggle up with your kids in a tent after a long day of just being outside, of fishing for crabs and starfish, of playing and climbing, of soaking up the sun and wind, even a dip or two in the sea. I am definitely getting used to this!

Below is a collection of photos from our two trips: (click on the images to see them big)

Camping in paradise.

I took the kids and went to a beautiful place, with sea, trees, pebbles, wind, sun and sand. No cars, no noise except for the waves rolling in on the beach. No clocks, no work, just us, and the outdoors, and a couple of friends. My heart is full, it was so healing and so good for us.

I made a little film:

Reflections in bed.

I can't remember the last time I've felt so ill. I have been struck by a terrible attack of the flu, so I've spent the last five days in bed, going a bit mad at times. My restless nature. It gives me many advantages - it gives me the speed to get things done, but it also brings solid challenges. I am becoming more aware of them. And in a strange kind of way, it felt fitting in all its stressfulness that I should have no other option right now than to just lay there, and wait, and let the illness run its course through my body. I have tons of photos to edit, I had to postpone a job, I don't have time to be sick now - but, still, it felt like it was exactly what I needed. Because I have a lot to think about, I have a whole person to listen to (me), and I haven't done much of that lately, to be honest. 

Before I fell ill, there was this evening, I had put the boys to bed first, and then the girls and I went to bed after them. Two snoring little boys in a bed. The windows were open, the blinds were down, but there were streams of evening sun coming in through the cracks. Birds outside still singing frantically, buzzing of flies, a light draft through the warm room. Me and my four magical children in our huge bed together. Always, together. 

And it is things like these I have thought about when I have been sick this week. How my wealth really only comes in one form: Not by the number of jobs I have, but by love. Only by love.

Pure gold.

This chunky monkey is ten months old today. This time last year I was two days away from throwing in the towel at work, calling in sick for the last two months before he arrived. There were some complications and I feared he might be born early, so I decided to listen to my body signals, slow down, and shift my focus. It was a good decision, but it didn't make the last two months of the pregnancy much easier. When I think back on last summer now, all I see is this super heavy, hot woman (and I mean hot in the sense of actual temperature here!), having contractions with my every move, feeling inadequate as a mother, just staying put and counting the days until my term. It was hard. And yet I knew all along how privileged I was, what a miracle it was, I didn't take any of it for granted. And it's been like that since he came along, this wolf cub. It's been harder than with the others, but the hardships have made the colours of motherhood more vivid this time, they have connected me with corners of my soul I didn't know I had. It's been hard, but it's been a privilege, and now, when things are easy and "normal" (if there is such a thing), this lightness of being gives me such joy. Seeing him thrive, eat, play, laugh, explore, I didn't take these things for granted when he was born and I learned about his condition, so it makes my heart sing, every day. 

And then there's the fact that he is blissfully unaware of all of this, of all my thoughts and worries, that he knows nothing of this noise. He only knows love, this little boy. And because of that, I think, he is the greatest example. Pure love, quite simply. Pure gold.