Nothing clears my head as simplicity, beautiful flowers and the sound of the lake.
Words & Photography Gunn Kristin Monsen in NL2 Magazine
I have always been drawn to the lake. Growing up spending all my summers at my grandparents place where I could run to the lake and have a swim any time, has made it so natural. The feeling of heather scraping up my bare legs as I ran the few meters to our hidden place. The joy of the fresh water as I entered the lake to swim in the tiny bay with my friend and the feeling of just existing in the moment. Luxury given by nature so generously and consumed and enjoyed totally as a child.
Living in Norway means for many Norwegians having nature’s scenery as a backdrop of daily life. The mountains, fjord woods, lakes and long coastlines are our natural elements. We are so used to it and may forget sometimes the impact it has on our way of living and thinking. For me a hectic life with no stopping points to catch my breath and the growing feeling of losing the ability to be in the moment, led me to search again for the feeling of my childhood. The beautiful feeling of time just passing as the mind takes a break. My surroundings were the same as in my childhood, after settling down with my family in the house where I had my summer paradise.
Still the nature had lost it effects on me. Being so consumed in the fast pace of my daily life I had no tools to recognize what was so close. My turning point was my first yoga class and starting to practice simple breathing techniques in my life. I discovered myself lying in bed, breathing and suddenly hearing the sounds from nature right outside my open bedroom window. The singing birds, the leaves rustling in the wind and the gentle sound of the lake so close to our house. My husband and I had just moved from the city to my childhood paradise. The winter was so cold, but we still kept the window in the bedroom slightly open for fresh air. My Baby girl was in our bed getting breastfed and then I heard it, the sound of the frozen lake, like a humming sound, deep and wavy. So calming and relaxing. The most beautiful soundtrack to a precious moment. How could I have had stoppend listening to that? Now summer is here and we have our window wide open as often as we can. Letting the sound of nature surround us, and be the best soundtrack to our life. The water sounds different now with its merry sounds hitting the stones around the lake.
We swim and take a trip in our old rowboat hunting for waterlilies, the most beautiful white flowers to be picked at just the right moment before it closes its crown in the evening.
The stillness of the lake and the feeling of running your hand through the water as the boat slowly moves along. The seagulls watching us closely to protect their newly hatched babies. All so peaceful. At the house, we move outside to live. We eat in the garden, and forget to check our watches in the light of long summer nights. This summer we have been blessed with endless warm sunny days, we feel these days in our bodies when the days of pouring rain arrive.
We are strange people here in the north, spending so many days of the year inside, waiting for these sometimes few, but precious summer days. I must admit, I still have a long way to go in letting myself benefit from the amazing tool nature around me is as a calming source. I love my job and could do it all my awaken hours, but to do it well I need time to reflect, getting inspired and letting stress go. I need time to be creative and to let myself get lost in the process. When the mind is filled with distracting thoughts this is really hard. So, I slowly give myself more space and room to breathe, getting closer to nature again and letting the sound of the lake inspire me to a life with more presence in the moment. It’s not easy, but I’m blessed with the most beautiful surrounding to help me on my way.
My dream now is to build a studio in my garden. I have this image of the beautiful light from the lake streaming through this big windows in my studio, soft with a touch of blue tones from the water. Even closer to nature and its magic clearing my head time and again.