Monday, October 12, 2009

Dedication of the Harvest
The trees are ablaze with their full colors, and both the leaves and temperatures are dropping. There is something sacred about such a dramatic change. It was nice to find the Swedish church has a ritual to celebrate the harvest and remember the cycle of life. It is no wonder people all over choose to give thanks for the harvests and honor the dead at this time of year. Walking in the graveyard near the church, with leaves blowing and trees glowing orange, I am reminded that soon it is Halloween/ Dia De Los Muerte/ Day of the Dead/ All Saints Day.

Swedish church holy days are still very tied to the wheel of the year. Each season is marked by a celebration- Santa Lucia in winter, Easter in Spring, Midsummer, and in the fall it is the dedication of the Harvest, called Skördegudstjänst. We were amongst the very few who attended the Skördegudstjänst service in Vomb this weekend, and it was a time of Thanksgiving. The choir surprised us with a cheery chorus of "Muchas Gracias". After our first year in Sweden, I have say yes, indeed.

The world reminds us once a year that everything dies. And that we are, in fact, still alive, and able make the most of it.
The Reaper And The Flowers
There is a Reaper whose name is Death,
and, with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
And the flowers that grow between.
"Shall I have nought that is fair?'' saith he;
"Have nought but the bearded grain?
Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
I will give them all back again.'' He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,
He kissed their drooping leaves;
It was for the Lord of Paradise
He bound them in his sheaves.
"My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,''
The Reaper said, and smiled;
"Dear tokens of the earth are they",
Where he was once a child. "They shall all bloom in fields of light,
Transplanted by my care,
And saints, upon their garments white,
These sacred blossoms wear.''
And the mother gave, in tears and pain,
The flowers she most did love;
She knew she should find them all again
In the fields of light above. O, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day;
'Twas an angel visited the green earth,
And took the flowers away.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Forest Colors The BirchesSnow Berries


Kangaroo said...

You live in such an unbelievably beautiful place. GORGEOUS photos of the Skördegudstjänst service. And since when does little Miss C STAND???? Great picture of her and big sister!

lornadoone1972 said...

It is beautiful and the season... sigh - how I miss them. In UK we celebrated Harvest Festival - nostalgic moments - living vicariously through you - and what gorgeous girls! :)

Rose said...

Please excuse me while I go pack my suitcase.

Anonymous said...

hi there - i'm a student midwife from canada who is visiting my husband in lund and i came across your blog while looking for information about spettkaka of all things. i was very surprised to see you are an american midwife in sweden! i'm wondering if i could get in touch with you - i'm curious to hear if you have practiced here at all. you can email me at thanks, amy

kollene carlsson said...

this is amaaaazing!!!! such pretty pics! love the first of you girls! and I love that church!! Have you seen the church in Sövde? Mattias was baptised there! it's gorgeous and the graveyard is so beautiful! I love your blog Heidi!!! can't wait to see you this winter!!!!!

Andy said...

beautiful pictures, Heidi! I love the ones of the girls outside, just gorgeous! Enjoy the season, and we'll see you soon!! xoxo