Summer Days

Usually my blog posts have been inspired by a remarkable event or new work from the forge. However, the last month or so has been one inspiring experience after the next, and I haven’t taken the time to step away from it all and write about it. Until now…

That being said, I have very little to show for my work in the forge. I have a nice damascus billet welded and ready for shaping, as well as a tvåflikad skäggyxa in the works:

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The birth of a viking axe

We are preparing to travel to the Czech Republic in two weeks, to attend the international Hefaiston Blacksmithing Festival. There are a few projects taking shape for this as well:

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A dragon candleholder in progress…

The majority of my time, however, has been restoring a fence around a cemetery in nearby Hudiksvall. In this stage of the project I am just scraping off moss and rust, and painting. Not very glamorous  work, but hey, I’m getting a nice tan.

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300 meters finished, 250 meters to go. Give or take.

The real depth of experience has come from a few jaunts here and there. I headed up north to Tornedalen, a region just on the border of Finland, and crossed the Arctic Circle for the first time. There was a welcome party of several million mosquitos waiting for me, and they made sure I was never without company in the far north. I had a beautiful time paddling, fishing, playing board games and picking berries in the woods. An experience to be remembered for many years to come.

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Midnight sky, looking south. A stunning reverse sunset, and good fishing too.

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To my surprise, I caught something!

Just this past weekend, I attended the Urkult music festival in Näsåker. It is located near a river where people have been gathering for thousands of years, and the temporary community we built over several days felt like an echo in time. There is a deeply satisfying feeling that comes with involving yourself in an ancient tradition, even if it has evolved to fit our time.

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Messages left long ago, still visible in the rocks today.

I made a new friend in Mattias, a journeyman carpenter from Germany. He was inspiring to be around, and I traded some teaching in the forge for learning in building. We also had a blast riding the dressin (a three wheeled bike one rides on an old train track) at a friend’s summerhouse:

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As the moments rush by, I feel glad by the passing of time. To me this has become a measure of my happiness – to be content with the moments gone, excited for the moments to come, and inspired by the world just now. I wish for this inspiration, peace, and hope in all who strive along the path towards that unknown kernel of meaning in our lives, our purpose.

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3 thoughts on “Summer Days

  1. Life. Light. Will Fun…guess that sums up this amazing experience, dear Son. Looking forward to hearing all about the Czech Republic as you put the final touches on your work before returning to the States–and prepare again for your return to this beloved country.

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  2. Thank you Sam for the update and for the photos, we have be dying to see what the railing looked and now looks like. The midnight sky is amazing and hard to believe for those of us who have a hard time sleeping when the moon is full.
    Can’t wait to see you soon.
    Warmly,
    Gelsey

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  3. Oh Sam, reading your blog reminded me of how much I have missed following you lately and I am so glad to hear from you again. And I was told you are coming back for a while, so let’s be sure to connect. There might still be garden vegetables to eat in Oct! You look so brown (is that dirt?) and healthy…That cemetery fence looks grueling, but as the Italians say, if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger.
    Love, Thea

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