Midsummer has just been. It was beautiful here in Norway, bright and warm, the seasons rolling towards high summer. Then there were the customary bonfires with celebrations into the summer night. It was overcast and drizzling most of the day, but people still came to see the bonfires and eat their picnics.
As they have done for thousands of years: the midsummer bonfires are a remnant of the heathen summer feast. This year it felt as if time had stood still – there was a tangible buzz in the air as it was also a full moon. So much energy, so magical, so sacred.
I remember the midsummers when I was little, when the grass was high (or I was small) and the day never ending (or I fell asleep early) and the grownups danced in long, flowing garments. Well, it was the seventies. There was a note in the air – a scent that I have never forgotten. I can smell it again every year around this time, and it reminds me of that summer way back when. I can see myself as if from above, a small, happy child with tons of blond curls bopping around a bright face.
The smell is fresh, like water. Like it has not long rained, or will soon again. And it is green. It is the greenest smell I know, as the field surrounds me and the flowers wave slightly in a gentle breeze. It is the green smell of sunshine and summer, and of bumblebees and butterflies. There is a note of blue as well, as in the smell of a never ending blue sly that deepens as the night goes on. Then I sense my favourite part of this scent. It was magic. It was the scent of fairytales and mythical beings. It was pure magic.
In Norway we have the mythical Hulder, a woman with a cow’s tale. She is beautiful beyond measure, and has long blond hair that falls down her back. Her hair shines like the sun, and her eyes sparkle blue like the sky. She has rosy cheeks and soft, pink lips. The Hulder lures men to follow her into the dark insides of the mountains where her people live. There, feasts are laid out, with all imaginable delights. If he eats, the man will never escape from the Hulder and will remain trapped in the mountain. She roams the land at dusk, and as a child I was sure I had seen her, or smelled her. She smelled of magic. There was an eerie silence, a little scary, as if her presence had quietened all the other sounds and made time stand still.
Then, suddenly, came the smell of bonfires, of hot dogs and of children running, laughing. The crackling of the fire, the barking of dogs and the singing of people. The spell was broken. And I was left with a longing for that magical moment.
Finding the community of Cycle Harmony has made a huge difference to me. I am delighted to be writing to you the Red Tent and hope to share thoughts and experiences you recognise, or find useful to ponder upon. I look forward to working with you all in exploring what it is to be women, and hope to hear from you. ~ Vild