Kurt’s Cabin by the Mountain Lake

S ome places are just magical. Visiting a friend’s (Kurt’s) cabin in Norway, hidden away in the mountains and surrounded by lakes, was one of them.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. – Henry David Thoreau

Secluded and remote away from the buzz of everyday life, there’s nothing to do but to stare into your own heart and observe the thoughts as they pass. I had tried to meditate some years ago with no success. Now, finally I had a breakthrough.

I got here right after my grandmother passed away. It was an escape to process life and death and to try to find balance. Most of us have grandparents, and eventually parents, who depart. When old people die you don’t know if you ought to be at peace that they are relieved from suffering or sad because of the loss. Perhaps a bit of both. I went on many solitary walks surrounded by forest, valleys, mountains and lakes trying to figure out how I feel. Not just about the loss of my grandmother, but also about the cycle of life and death.

Staying here offered a new perspective on life. The Nordic nature touched my heart in so many ways that I can’t put it into words. It’s as if I was in company of a great ancient spirit that retreated into the Nordic mountains away from the noise of human activity. The air was pure and the colors were vivid and soft. It was a delight for the senses to be here in August (2019). I felt a rebirth. A new beginning that I had yearned for. I was the same ‘me’, yet it was as if I was cleansed of all that was clouding my vision and weighing me down. It was a gradual process, like the arrival of light after a long dark winter in my soul.

What was previously causing anxiety eventually lost meaning. What I thought had been difficult, now seemed easy. It was as if I had been walking with my eyes fixed on what’s ahead, and then gradually lifting off into flight and seeing a world bigger than my initial perception. What’s ahead doesn’t matter. IT’S THE EXPERIENCE THAT COUNTS.

Like all people I’ve had my share of hardships and joys. What fascinates me is that we all have such different experiences yet fundamentally we all experience very similar things. We all have dreams that can get shattered and left behind. We all have loved ones we can lose at the blink of an eye. We all have a life that is fleeting past us. We all have a heart that is yearning for something. We all enjoy good weather and are happy when the sun is shining and we’re in good spirit and health. Regardless of the details that make us happy and sad, we are so much alike. Hanging on to this though gave life new meaning.

I’ve been entangled in the labyrinth of my mind and heart. I’ve been prioritising the things that made me anxious and unhappy and not being awake enough to the things that bring joy and give meaning to life.

The Nordic spirit gave me a gift. It nudged a part of my consciousness and caused a subtle awaking. As I return to the tasks and routines of ‘normal life’ I don’t want to lose the clarity of what it felt like to be in the presence of something far greater than my senses can grasp. I want to live my days in pursuit of a greater passion and purpose that I felt and touched in the mountains in Norway.

I realised that anyone can go up into the mountains and feel connected to a pure life-force. The real challenge lies not in how to live consciously, while surrounded by beauty and nature, it’s easy to be serene in nature’s arms. The real challenge is whether you can bring the beauty back down with you, back into the ‘world’ that is so often imperfect… and then cultivate and multiply that sense of peace and beauty in the everyday life.