Happy New Year!
I hope you had a good start into 2018!
I have spent the last five weeks on Bornholm. Another very beautiful island in what seems to be a love affair with islands that I am living. Two friends bought a house on Bornholm last summer and I was welcome to spend 4 weeks over the Holidays and New Year here. As I liked it so much I am now looking after the house while they are away on a holiday.
The time here has been very rich, we experienced a lovely co-creative time together, a free flow of joined activities, meals, walks and times spent alone. We drove to a few beautiful places on the island: A walk along a part of the coast in the North of Bornholm, including some time around the ruins of Salomon’s chapel, probably built around the 14th century. I read that merchants and fishermen came here to ask for a blessing for save travelling.
We also went to the beach in the South of Bornholm where most of the tourists go in the summer, kilometers of white sand to walk along. I was told that the sand is some of the finest and was used in hour glasses. Looking at the sea and beyond, the next mainland would be Poland. I spent another day there with a neighbour last weekend, with the sun shining, everything was put into a mesmerizing glow. The temperature was just above zero, but the sun felt super warm: we had a nice long picknick break at the beach. A taste of the mild climate that prevails here. Fig trees are thriving when it is their time.
In the middle of the island is a big forest area and it was interesting to experience the special geology of Bornholm with lots of ups and downs, deep valleys and high points and ruins of Viking castles to explore. At some point all three of us in the bare ruins of one of the castles were brought back in time and imagined the colorful life in such a place.
A highlight was a visit to the Erdholmene, a small group of islands 19km northeast of Bornholm. It is a tourist attraction in the summer months, with hundreds of people spending a day there. In winter it is possible to go with the postal boat ‘Peter’ and spend two hours until the boat returns around lunchtime. The islands have never been part of a municipalicy, they are administered by the Ministry of Defense. They are small enough so we had time to walk around the two main islands. We saw a group of seals on a rock off the island and listened to them singing, I don’t think I ever experienced this before, very special and touching. It reminded me of the singing elephant seal in ‘Urmel aus dem Eis’, a children’s book that I used to love when I was a girl. On the trip with ‘Peter’ back to Bornholm we started talking to a woman who lives on the island and learnt a few interesting things. Around 100 people live and work on Christiansoe, the main island. You can only live there if you have a job on the island. Christiansoe is a solid rock that continues steep down under water for hundreds of meters, so the sea is really deep right around the island. Maybe this has an effect on the special mild climate here?
During my more solitary walks I enjoyed communicating with the spirit of Bornholm. It felt like talking to an old and wise friend who I could ask for advice. Spending time on the island feels very wholesome to me and as far as I understood the overall quality of the island is ‘wholeness’. Potentially very healing and a wonderful place for reflection and integration, finding out what works and what doesn’t work in one’s life.
I can now value times of integration much more. When I look back at my life I think I never really took enough time to rest and integrate, the adventure loving part in me would be too restless and want to take me to a new adventure and I found it difficult to resist. Bornholm feels so strong and so welcoming and holding that even my inner adventurer can relax. But then there are enough interesting things here to explore.
The round church not far from where I am staying. We participated in the Christmas services there and it was quite a treat.
And the trees which stand with such a presence.