Sitting in the sun, while writing my blog, I am so enjoying the warmth on my skin. Finally sun, even though it is still cold in the wind. While the rest of Norway has enjoyed temperatures up to 30°C, we have had up until now three days over 10° C. I know, it’s the artic, but even here it can be warm in the summer. And summer it is! Finally the flowers are blooming all over or on the point of. There is this sweet smell in the air, slightly mixed with fresh salty sea air.. What a delicious combination! I see flowers and animals in abundance. Almost every day I can see a (sea)eagle or hawk soaring the skies. Sometimes even so close that I can almost count their feathers. Birds nest all around, even in windows. The arctic skua protects its nest fiercely and even attacks me and Bizou when we walk to or from the cabin. The reindeer come for a visit every day and now that the new calves are born, I enjoy watching them even more. Yesterday I saw an otter close by and last night and today we had a visit from our friend the fox again. She is not afraid at all and comes closer and closer. Sometimes she even takes a little nap nearby. Maybe she likes the company? Even the two dogs don’t scare her! I have stayed more and more in the cabin of my friend Frank (and his dog Ruben). For the lighthouse is so crowded. At one point I had to share the house with 7 other people. That means making room in cupboards, refrigerator, bathroom etc., while I had everything for myself for such a long time. And even though it’s wonderful to have such a nice people around, I feel I do not want to share my space. Therefore I am happy that I have my own house waiting for me ! I have taken up the challenge though, to be comfortable in my own space, with so many others around. A good lesson for me and I succeed !
Now it is only 5 (now 2) days away until departure. I try not to think too much about it but of course I have to prepare as well. I have started with some packing and sorting out what to leave here. That is a good feeling, knowing I will come back and use my stuff again. And of course I have to make room in my car for all the stones, shells, seaglass, driftwood, small sticks, etc. I am such a gatherer of natural things. I love it :-). Of course it also for presents for friends..
Whenever I think too far ahead, like imagining sitting in my car and leave here, I feel this squeeze in my heart and belly. Tears are threatening. And on the other hand I feel so fulfilled. This year has given me everything I wanted it to be and even so much more than I could even think of. This year is the best gift I have ever given myself. To feel so much part of nature as I feel now, has given me such a contentment in myself. And WITH myself. This year was a transition year. Here a new dream has been born (only two days ago it became clear to me!). I will not tell much about it now, that comes later, but it will not surprise you that it involves this beautiful place.
So even though I will leave from here for now, this is by no means my last blog. There is still more to share and of course I will keep you all up to date about my book(s), exhibitions etc. So it will not be a farewell for us .
A circle is closing, for without consciously doing it, I named my last blog ‘home’ while my second blog was called ‘hjemme’ which means home! My first blog was arrival, and my last (for now) from this place is ‘departure’. And as much I had to land here when I arrived, so much part of the land I feel now. I have experienced so many wonderful things about the arctic life: fishing, picking berries and måsegg, hurricanes, sunshine, wild sea and ‘smooth as a mirror’ sea, delicious food, driving a snow scooter, a boat, go snowshoeing, skiing, hiking through beautiful nature, experiencing the dark outside and in myself. I have seen the glory of the sun returning and the magic of the colors in the darktime. And now I am rejoicing in the abundance of light of the midnight sun. Making new, wonderful friends. Knowing how well I thrive being on my own and how equally well I like to be with people. I have learned to say no and stand behind myself. I followed my dream and discovered that all is possible if I allow myself to feel the longing and give myself permission to want it for myself. I saw into my own darkness and discovered my light. And that is maybe the most precious gift that this yearlong retreat has given me.
I thought of sharing one memory (out the many, wonderful, beautiful memories) that embodies my experience here. I came up with a moment in autumn, picking multebær (cloudberries) with Frank. It was a lovely day, full of sunshine. After a while of berry picking, we sat down on the slope of the hill. From that place we had a more than 250 degree view of the horizon. I saw the ancient layers of the earth and the seemingly endless sea beyond. With the lighthouse on ‘top’ of the land. There I learned the Norwegian expression: ‘La homla suse og hundan pulle’. Which means so much as: let everything go and enjoy the moment (the literal translation is a bit more ‘cheeky’). And what a moment it was: time stood still, there was only this moment. The silence so deep as only the sound of nature can give you. All was well in the world. As I lay down on the warm earth, I felt her breathing within me. That moment was pure, shared perfection and I embraced every breath of it……
I am leaving the lighthouse on the 6th of July, after exactly one year. The lighthouse with its beam of lightthat shines in the dark, designed to guide people through the precarious sea. That light has become symbolic for the light of my soul that I (re)discovered here. I know it will guide me from now on, through the waves of my life …..
I strongly believe in feeling and expressing gratitude. Therefore I want to thank the following people who have played a more or less important role in fulfilling my dream year in the arctic. It’s a long list and I feel rich that there so many people in my life to be grateful for.
First and maybe most important a big thank you to my father, who passed away 2 years ago: Pap, wherever you are, thank you for supporting me from the moment I was born, for making it possible to stay here for a year, for always believing in me, even though you didn’t understand what I was doing (talking to trees :-)! ). And for sending the biggest sign anyone could get, that: Yes GO to your lighthouse….
And of course thank you Mam, (she died 15 years ago), for giving me such a deep love and respect for nature, that is one of my core values. One of my first memories is sitting on the back of your bike, looking at the play of the sun in the leaves of the trees. A happy memory. I believe you would have been so happy for me, that I followed my dream. Your consideration and warm caring for people are still an example to me.
A special warm thank you to Coby and Trudy, whom are taking care of my house in the Netherlands. Without your loving care for my home, I could have never relaxed in being here. Your contribution to my lighthouse-year has been invaluable!
A big thank you to my friends:
Petra, my soul-friend and master ‘space-holder’.. Even though you were so ill, you loved me enough to encourage me to follow my dream. Our calls have supported me through the darkness and together we celebrated the light. Thank you for simply being my friend….
Henriette, friends forever. From the moment we met in Paris, you are there for me. There is no one with whom I can still laugh out loud about the most silly things. There is nothing I can’t talk with you about. You gave me my first book on energywork and I was hooked. Together we have grown into these beautiful, powerful women we are…..
Mariet, my deeply connected nature friend and mirror. You have always lifted me up and made me feel good about myself. And even though in following my own truth, I have hurt you, you are still open to stay connected. I deeply admire you for being true to yourself, to feel your pain and yet be open to love….
Yoke, wise woman. I am so thankful for our earth-dreams together. Even though we were 3.500 km away from each other, we managed to dream together and make them even stronger. You have helped me to believe in my own power and wisdom. I deeply respect your ancient wisdom….
Mieke, for showing me Norway and sharing your love for this beautiful country. Now I am as hooked as you are ! You, as no one else, understand what I have been doing here….
Thank you to my circlesisters, Jenny, Sue, Mun, Petra, Nants, Patricia and ZuVuYah. You have helped me to believe in myself!
And thank you to my brothers Lex en Bert, my nephew Lex, my friends Gerwine, Wilma, Anne, Lydian, Petra and Martijn, Wilka/Aysha, Diana, Hiltje, Giuseppe, Belinda, Geert-Jan, Hev, Kami, Jane, Jenneke, Hans. You all contributed in your own unique way, to my stay here.
Thank you to all of you who have commented on my blogs, for appreciating my pictures, for giving me the positive response I so needed and welcomed. Thank you to all, from the deepest of my heart, for reading my blogs. I can’t express enough how important your support and appreciation have been to me.
A deeply appreciated thank you to my mentors :
Rachael Jayne Groover, who helped me to come home again in my feminine self: Your encouragement to step into my power has helped me to follow my own dream. You are definitely the best teacher I know! Well maybe on a pair with:
Datta Groover, you gave me opportunity to face my fears of standing in front of an audience and simply be. Thanks to you (and RJ of course) I feel ready to give powerful lectures about my year in the artic. But most of all I thank you for the incentive to pick up my photography again and to believe in my own talent!
Christian Pankhurst, who taught me to embrace my emotions and love them. All of them :-)! You helped me to trust my heart and take action.
Tej Steiner, for teaching me about the essence of heartcircles. Your unique way of teaching has helped my find my own unique way of being.
Thank you to my friends here in Gamvik: Ebba, Terje, Leif Jørgen, Tove, Torgrim and Jeanette: you have made me feel so welcome and appreciated here in in this beautiful place on earth.
Thank you Torstein, for providing the opportunity to stay in the lighthouse of my dreams. And Vidar for making the connection.
And thank you to all the other inhabitants of Gamvik, for welcoming me in your community. Until next year, if not sooner :-)!
Last but definitely not least, a huge, warm tusen takk for Frank: You have showed me how rich life in the arctic can be. You gave me hospitality, help, lots of delicious Norwegian food, a free pass to your cabin in paradise and helped me with my Norwegian. And most of all thank you for taking care of me when I ripped my ankle tendons. This year would not have been the same without you.
In case I have forgotten you, yes YOU, I am deeply grateful for your presence in my life…..
And the very, very last, which needs no added words:
Thank you Bizou…….
For the last time, with love from the lighthouse,
Marielle & Bizou