April 18, 2014

An Invincible Spring

PLEASE NOTE: All of Lindsay's posts have been moved and updated on her new blog!

"In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer (spring). And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there's something stronger - something better, pushing right back." quote by author Albert Camus from "The Stranger"

I came across this image above last "spring" and it made such an impact on me. I had to track down where the quote came from and found it was by Albert Camus and was translated (very loosely) from French. Most translations say summer at the end but it was this image that said spring that helped me through a seemingly endless winter in Sweden.
 As a California girl it happened to be my first "real" winter ever and it also happened to be the longest and coldest winter on record for many years. My husband & I moved to Sweden together in December 2012 and his family had been hoping and praying for snow so that I would get to experience a real white Christmas and I also was looking forward to that. But then there was a white New Years, white Valentine's day, white St. Patrick's day, white Easter...do I need to keep going? Needless to say the endless amounts of snow, ice, darkness, and negative degree temperatures got REALLY old. I started to hate snow and it seemed that every time it started to melt and I would get a glimmer of hope that spring was coming I would wake up the next day only to look out my window to a fresh blanket of snow and the process started all over again. It was a very emotional and mental experience for me, something I had never gone through or ever had to face before. Seasonal depression became no joke to me and the days of darkness were blinding to my mind. I honestly can't even remember what I did for those 5 long months of winter until Jonas & I went on a trip to CA for a friend's wedding. We left Sweden when the snow had just started to melt and came back to a full blown summer!
 This winter couldn't have been more different than the last, only a few major snowfalls that melted quickly and spring came quite early! This has been my first "real" spring in Sweden and it's been very intriguing seeing the first signs of spring that I totally missed last year. Right now there are flowers blooming all over the city and the weather has been quite lovely aside from the mandatory April showers (that bring May flowers.)
  I see so much wisdom now in the full quote above that I would have never understood unless I had gone through it myself. It was one of the darkest times of my life in more ways than one but it did teach me how to find within myself an invincible spring. I had to reach inside myself and feel the spring breeze, smell the blooming flowers, and hear the birds singing. In fact, I had to learn how to keep a piece of that invincible spring inside all year round for I believe it is important to always keep an open and blooming disposition.
 I feel like I became my own snowdrop flower. They are one of the first spring flowers to appear and can even push up through the snow. So like in Camus' quote, when winter was pushing me down hard I had to find the will, the power, a strength in me to push back in my darkest times. Then, just like a snowdrop flower, to push up through the snow and declare that I found within myself an invincible spring.
 These photos are a part of our Sheaves "The Awakening of Spring" photo set which you can find in the previous post. I decided to separate these pictures and write this blog because they became so symbolic for me. The different shades of green candles are representative to me of the coming of spring. I was very inspired by Celtic music and the awakening of spring when I created the headpiece you see in the photos. I wore a brown dress and used neutral toned flowers on the sides because when the seasons are in between winter and spring the forest is brown and has very muted colors.
 My favorite part of the photos is the reindeer moss I'm lying on. It was so perfect that we found this spot because I used some of the same kind of lichen that I gathered last winter/spring on the top of my headpiece and I love how my head blends into the bed of moss.
 I apologize for this long-winded explanation of why the quote above is so significant to me but it felt important to put into writing my experience of finding my own invincible spring and if it can encourage you in any way I am glad!
 -Lindsay of Sheaves

April 10, 2014

The Awakening of Spring

In March we listen to a lot of Celtic music not only because of St. Patrick's Day but because it just fits the mood so perfectly when it starts to feel like spring and there are many cloudy rainy days. 

We were so inspired in fact that on a whim we decided to paint Celtic designs on our faces and go take pictures in the forest! It's the only natural thing to do right?! 

Jonas did a fantastic job of painting the designs in green on our faces in Celtic inspired designs and Lindsay made her DIY Celtic art nouveau spring fairy inspired headpiece the night before for the occasion. 

It is perfect that the spring equinox also happens to be a few days after St. Patrick's Day so we were really inspired by all those things for the photos. 
A song and title came to mind after we had taken the pictures..."Awakening of Spring" from "The Secret Garden" soundtrack. 
That song is so mesmerizing and totally encapsulates the feeling of the beginning of spring. Therefore, we decided to name this photo set after that beautiful song and scene from the movie! 

We also used a quote from the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett that really captures the curiosity and wonder about the coming of spring time:

"Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"...
"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine..."

The awakening of spring to us is when the seasons are shifting from winter into spring; the forest is brown but there are tiny signs of green life awakening if you look close enough. 
After so much darkness, snow, and cold in the winter it feels like a miracle when the first flowers start to appear and tiny new blades of grass. 
Then you notice that the bird have started to sing again and with that brings so much hope and joy to our souls for warmer and brighter days to come.
-Tales of Sheaves

April 4, 2014

Torekällberget Open-air Museum

We went to Torekällberget Open-air Museum in Södertälje, Sweden in March on a beautiful spring day! It is a wonderful place to go and walk around and see old Swedish houses, old farm buildings, cute farm animals, and even stop for a fika at Cafe Bellevue. This marks our first "real" Sheaves vlog! We are still getting the hang of vlogging but we hope you enjoy following us around and seeing a more casual side of us :)
-Tales of Sheaves