I remember very vividly, actually in minute details, the first time I visited the place that I call home today.
It was a wonderful spring Saturday, sunny and warm. The air was saturated by scents of the first bloom and something else, something novel yet very tangible - the sense of expectations and perhaps awakenings.
Natural and personal as well.
That day has since then become part of my most precious recollection, which consists of the most unforgettable moments in my life. In no uncertain terms, I experienced happiness to the extend I have not known by then. Having endured a very trying and devastating period in my life, one that barely ended by then, it felt as if I have been through the fires of purgatory and suddenly crossed the gates to paradise...
I recall particularly sitting on a covered patio, enjoying the warmth of a setting sun and a sharing a glass of wine with a man that was basically a stranger, yet who felt so familiar, so safe and so very exciting simultaneously. And I remember very strongly the persistent urge of not ever wanting to leave him.
Of course little did I know then that only a few months down the road, at one point I would indeed come back to stay for good. I moved in and am still in the process of doing so - little by little some more of my possessions find their way onto the shelves and into his cabinets and closets, which he only observes with amusement.
Thus slowly his home is becoming my home as well, even though it will take a while for me to stop feeling like a guest, something I have come to respect and accept. However, the transition has so far been so incredibly smooth and effortless, as even though it is a home of a man, it is cosy, loving, charming and warm. Just like the man himself.
Until we one day are able to purchase a home together, I relish in exploring the many sides of the man I love, by exploring the place where he has invited me to stay forever - our home.
For years, my exercise consisted of a daily morning run on a treadmill located in the basement of my old house. It was easy and it was practical, having my own gym within reach. It also made it harder to have any excuses not to run.
Upon my recent relocation, my old treadmill has been left behind and thus I have adapted a different exercise routine, the one practiced by my new family. A novel concept to me; running outside. Stepping onto a natural ground, finding a rhythm in following the versatile terrain and enjoying (or fighting) the elements.
Thus three times a week, I get up at daybreak and set out on a run through the sleeping neighbourhood, by now on a fairly familiar route, which eventually takes me onto a path around a nearby lake.
I have come to cherish this tranquil time in complete solitude. As I jog along the solitary path, I very rarely meet anyone but the occasional dog walker or elderly couples on their first stroll of the day. As a naturally early riser, I enjoy the stillness of a newborn day, heading outside, inhaling the morning scents and stepping on the dew covered ground. Most of all I love to visit the lake at this hour, when mist still lingers upon its surface and the first sun rays burst from behind the trees.
My morning run has certainly become one of my new found simple pleasures.
(All image in this post are taken with my iPone on a recent run, during a beautiful late August morning.)
There is a theory, somewhat controversial and often discredited, which proposes that when a human being passes on, the body weights exactly twenty one grams less then when alive. Thus it has been suggested that this is the weight of a soul.
I wonder, if one could weigh my white house on the hill today, whether it woudl be weighing less than when I lived there. As these days it certainly feels as if the "soul has left the building".
Selling a home is a strange process. No matter the reason, whether one wants to do it or is forced to, there is a certain feel of termination of life in this conduct.
I believe a home is created.
It is built out of love and affection and supported by people, by their laughter and tears and foremost by their presence. Once this is removed from a building, it becomes an empty framework, a lifeless construction, a foreign place.
I take very little pleasure in visiting the house these days.
I do it nevertheless - out of necessity - on regular bases and will continue to do so until it is sold. The selling however is not going all that well I am afraid, considering the financial crises that has spread once again through the world like an infectious disease.
Thus the house, that one place that once brought me joy, safety and comfort has now become a burden. A lifeless shell, a forced commitment, a financial affliction. It comes across like shackles around my ankles, keeping me imprisoned in the past, preventing me from moving on into my future.
It is today a far cry from the place I once knew and loved, so endlessly removed from my perception, demanding my care and draining my energy.
I never ever believed that I would feel these kind of emotions. They are a mixture of sadness, deep melancholy and a bittersweet recollection of another life all together. One that is only removed a few months in time, but decades in my perception.
It is a very odd realization and a truly shocking surprise.
Thus I linger there only for a moment.
Almost immediately upon entering I am enveloped by a feeling of being in a foreign place. My things are still there - I recognize all the furniture and the decor - but it does not feel at all cosy or familiar. Even the scent is different. I catch myself being in a hurry as I water the plants, open the windows, sort through the surface mail. Dust of the shelves, sweep the floor.
I simply can not wait to be on my way again.
In short moments though, when I gaze at the framed photographs of familiar faces and sit down for an instant, gazing out of my westbound windows at a stunning landscape and open sky - a wave of memories comes sweeping back.
But they do not stay with me, it seems they only pass me by, reminding me to remain thankful and most of all respectful.
They caution me to never ever forget the beautiful moments I once spend between these walls, together with all the people that helped me made it a home.
One day I will leave it forever.
It will become a shelter for someone new, keeping them happy and safe.
One day new life will move into the white house on a hill and bring back its soul.
At times, I truly miss my westerly views.
Those of magnificent sunsets, that played out like light shows in front of my windows at the white house on the hill.
But as always in life; you gain some and you loose some. Thus having lived at the east coast for a decade, my new home at the west coast offers novel views that take my breath away.
Recently, I got the chance to see the sun set over the rough North Sea, something I have never witness before.
The beaches here are wide and they stretch some hundred miles in each direction, with the sand so tightly packed, that cars are allowed to drive across the wast surface, on a sorts of a "highway". The sea is powerful and the horizon free and unlimited.
The skies were cloudy on that particular evening, yet that did not deter at all from the allure of the experience - on the contrary, it only reinforced the pristine enchantment of this rugged, unprotected west coast, known for its strong undercurrents and magnificent surf.
I watched the sun move lower to meet the surface of the waters, as my entire being savored the romantic moment, in the warm and loving arms of a perfect man.
While we gazed in silence at the smoky boundaries, the heavens above slowly shifted colour, anything from light blue and anthracite grey into deep purple and red. Eventually the fiery disc turned a strip of the sea into liquid gold, the wild waters embracing the shores, turning so flamboyant in their untamed beauty, instigating so undoubtedly the sense of absolute freedom...
Change - a term full of contradictions, yet the only constant in life.
Changes are never easy and feel more complicated and dramatic the older we get, but they are vital and important if we want to live fully and completely.
I do not think that I exaggerate, when I claim being an expert at changes. My life has been altered numerous times - in fact I feel that at this point it consists of several life times, woven together into an intricate personality tapestry, making me into who I am.
Thus today, while being in the process of altering my life once again, I know pretty accurately what to expect. I have over the years learned several vital facts about myself and about human nature over all, the most important being that we posses an uncanny way to adapt to new situations - something that makes us such a successful living species here on Earth. And I believe that those individuals that master this ability with an ease will always thrive and prosper.
Having made drastic changes in my life in the past, I know that my psyche undergoes a very interesting transformation and I go through many different emotional stages. I know at this point that it is extremely important to acknowledge them and process them all, as they reflect my state of mind. To ignore them would have devastating effect on my future well being.
So what exactly are my emotions of change?
Initially, there is that overwhelming feeling of excitement, almost exhilaration and the feeling of being invincible. It comes close to a reality denial, or a certain reality numbness.
Everything is possible.
This can last for extended period of time and gives rise to many moments of daydreaming, being a constant source of energy and happiness. Every change in my life came because I was looking for it and was yearning for it. Nevertheless the changes that actually do occur are unpredictable and are a result of combination of events, thus often the change we chose brings about in its turn some changes that we never planned on. Therefore slowly, the excitement recedes, but should still linger in the background, if we feel the changes we are making are the right ones.
As the exhilarating emotions subside, there is a time of awakening. A reality check. This can be more or less abrupt and a sobering experience, realizing all the practical aspect of a change and concluding that no matter how we turn the coin around, it has always two sides - and that good comes with the bad. Often at this point, there are feelings of fear and the mind is filled with anxious thoughts, at times deep worries and even remorse. "Better the devil you know" is a term so appropriate in this context. It is often very unnerving to undergo a change, even if the change is good, because the familiar - however bad and unsatisfactory - always feels so safe.
Here it is thus very important to realize, in my opinion, that every change consists of two stages; a loss and a gain. To acknowledge the loss is extremely vital, at least it is to me. I need to be allowed to part with what was, small ceremonies if you will and moments to mourn. I need to say farewell to my past in order to be able to move on into the future and to be able to accept the gain - as something good and new, rewarding and brilliant.
Once I leave the past in the past, hence comes the process of transformation, relocation and adaptation. I often feel I gain a second wind here, become more optimistic and full of energy, realizing - the change is happening now. A certain point of no return instigates a feeling of accomplishment and fresh resolutions, new starts and new beginnings. These are often not easy times and can result in a mixed outlet of tears and laughter, but these are the moments that usher us into our new existence.
And thus a new reality starts, an alteration of at times major proportions. A time of adaptation and discovery, a time of incredible personal growth and a realization of the endless strength we posses and what capable beings we actually are. Ultimately we gain an awareness of all the magic that exists in life, at all times available for us to seize, if we only dare to.
The many changes I have undertaken in the past have made me realize that life is truly beautiful - if we only have the courage to live it.
Ever since I was a little girl, my dream has been to live in a small cottage, somewhere in a beautiful countryside.
So far I have to admit to have lived in beautiful places and in beautiful surroundings, but the cottage dream is still only a dream.
I have always loved the romantic images of low, aging, thatched-roofed dwellings with semi-wild gardens, those that give a feeling of abundance and unrestricted growth, hidden from view. And full of hollyhocks.
Called a stokrose in Danish, which translate something like a rose on a stick, these beautiful flowers adorn the outside walls of many farms and cottages up here North, creating a living, colourful hedge. They can be found in many colours, anything from white and yellow to pink, magenta and deep red.
Once again, just like in the spring, when I realized that lilacs bloom in the garden of my new home, this summer a beautiful Hollyhock adorned outer walls of the house - another signs send by the heavens, reassuring me to stay on the path I have taken.
Thus until I one day indeed live in a cottage, this stunning beauty of pure magenta brings that dream somewhat closer.
The last sun-rays of a late summer sun illuminate my face, while I sit on a sheltered patio in a place that was unknown to me just a few months back. Yet which today instigates in me a sense of security and familiarity.
Closing my eyes, trying to recollect all that has come to pass since I last time updated this online diary, I become overwhelmed by a wave of sentimental emotions, as I attempt to recapture in words the essence of my current state of mind.
A product of events which has come to define my reality in a surprising way.
On so many occasions recently have I found myself pondering with amusement the relativity of time. We can go on for years, even decades, stuck in routines and the same old tracks, while our days move uneventfully, melting together into a time frame that moves in slow motion. Yet contradictory, a span of only a few weeks can come across as if a lifetime has passed, when defining moments and significant changes alter our present.
As I have gotten older, some very important notions have become my life philosophy; to never ever loose the courage to make a change, to never grow cynical and to never loose hope. To always follow ones heart and to stay true to ones beliefs, being at all times willing to take a leap of faith, no matter what dark abyss stares back in our face. To never be deterred by mistakes and setbacks, sorrows and pain. I am fully convinced that in life we get our share of the good and the bad in perfect balance – it is only up to us how we choose to handle both.
These days, my white house on the hill stands quiet and abandoned. A FOR SALE sign adorns the lawn, while I am slowly moving all my possessions north, in order to start a new life with the man that I love. And his three wonderful children.
I am in a time of transition and as we all know, that can occasionally come across as slightly unnerving. I am leaving behind a decade of experiences and memories, as well as a life that will never return. I am parting with my old companions - solitude, independence and mundane routines of a solitary existence - those that were my reality for so many years. However much I disliked them at times, they were all I knew and thus every now and then I feel a certain sense of sadness realizing those days are truly concluded. Additionally, I feel a sense of apprehension about what is to come. My future is novel and as I am about to enter an uncharted territory, I know in no uncertain terms that hardship awaits, because I know every change is a combination of happiness and sorrow.
Yet, I am not afraid.
I feel excited and ready to open a new chapter in my life, which includes family and love. I am about to embark on a voyage of a brand new personal era, one that will bring my way novel adventures and experiences, which will enrich my perception and create unforgettable moments. I feel confidant and convinced that I am heading towards a rewarding future after so many years of standing still.
As the sun sets behind the tree tops, the skies no longer offer spectacular sunsets that I am used to witness from the windows of my white house on the hill. Thus a sting of melancholy, almost remorse enters my mind, as I will have to part with a place that I called home for so many years, a place that I loved with all my heart and soul...
But then I recall what a stranger once said to me; “Home is defined by people, not places.
And ultimately by your heart...”
Just then, as my mind contemplates this statement, the distant laughter of children interrupted by the voice of a man that makes my heart skip a beat, both resonating from within the walls behind me, envelops me like a warm blanket, making me feel safe and endlessly happy - and then I know in no uncertain terms that I have indeed finally come home.
(Note: All images in this post are taken in my new home, some 90 miles north of the "white house on the hill".)
I was born under the Tatra Mountains, to a Czech father and a Slovak mother. I grew up in Sweden and lived almost ten years in North Carolina.
More than a decade ago my line of work took me to Denmark, where I live today. My home, which I share with the man that holds my heart, lies in the northerly part of a Danish peninsula, in the proximity of endless, wide and pristine westbound sandy beaches, surrounded by the rough and untamed North Sea.
My writing is defined by reflections on my cosmopolitan past and my intriguing present. Ultimately I try to convey in words and images my personal thoughts and feelings about life itself, with all its magic, natural splendour and the beauty of simple pleasures.