It has been few years, it has been a weird time, time we almost don’t remember anymore.
Getting on a plane, leaving isolation we so got used to was not an easy task. It has been first time I haven’t been back in Slovakia for few years and it did feel loong. It felt overwhelming coming back too, emotions I was not ready to have, people I was not ready to see, because everything was too much.
Yet once I crossed the door of my parents house I knew this is going to be a nice time together. And so it was. We made multiple trips to forest to pick up mushrooms, we did some little hikes, we just spent time together and I enjoyed and took in every single moment, walk and memory, because we never know when they are going to be last.
That was surely what pandemic thought me, we just never know and it can happen from one day to another, suddenly. I still cannot travel more often due to finances and life struggle, but at least I am trying to enjoy the times I am there as much I can.
These are memories I want to cherish, simple things, simple moments.
Not long ago I was trying to capture our herbs picking with my family. The same day we went for mushroom picking, which wasn´t that successful 😀
Yet it was an amazing day outside in the forests very dear to me. I have seen my first deer running through the path at the early morning here, when all I could hear was stamping noise. I learnt here to recognise which mushrooms are good to eat and which ones are better left behind.
As a child I was aware of beauty surrounding me and felt that nature and forests are these magical places where everything is possible and everything is somehow beautiful. That´s not what always nature is though. It has its way to teach us often difficult and challenging bits about life and what does it mean to be a human as well.
After years coming back felt as a pathway to past memories which rushed through my head as we walked. Again I wanted to capture this old memory and this present moment which possibly could be source of inspiration for finding beauty in simple things for someone else.
I don´t know about you, but I just love walking through any kind of the forest, especially when it is nice and easy to walk around and ground is covered in fresh grass. That was exactly how morning would welcome us fresh dew on the grass and smell of the forest in the air.
As we entered the forest we were lucky to find a mushroom and it gave us hope for a successful day, but unfortunately few more we found and that was all for that day.
It hasn´t disappointed me though, because I again found some inspiration inside in between those trees.
Small things came my way as fallen bird nest, colourful bug trying to get his way or deer running in the distance. It was a time when I have started recording small bits of these beautiful moments and thinking about the way how could I capture the feeling and the memory I got here. I guess it was the beginning of my video editing journey as a way to be creative yet make sense of the experience as well.
Everything is always happening for its reason, so the fact we haven´t found any mushrooms that day had its purpose as well.
That was a special day spent with my parents, remembering times we used to go there when I was a child. Admiring hard work of ants who tried to steal every small bit of our sandwiches which fell on the ground and creating new memories together to hold on for later when we will be apart once again.
People sometimes ask and wander why would I live so far away. Maybe there will come a time I will feel a need to move closer but so far the fact not being close taught all of us to value even more greatly than before our relationship which is certainly valuable lesson having.
I hope and believe there will come a time that I will be allowed spend maybe more time with them but not losing the life here in order to do so.
Come with me then for this little poetic forest walk which can maybe inspire you as well to find your own inspiration in small things life have to offer.
It is summer again. Scottish summers are very different to those back in Slovakia. There is a saying here…
´People need to get used to that summer is not in July and August but in May/June and September´
This saying couldn´t be more truth.
Lately we have a lot of rain and only few days now and then happen to be sunny and warm.
I think that´s why I was lately coming back in my mind to the last summer when I visited my parents. It was over thirty degrees nice warm and sunny almost all the time. One day we have decided to go to the forest for some mushroom picking. It wasn´t the best season for doing so but it was a bit rainy before I came so maybe there was a chance for some mushrooms growing.
This article though is not going to be about our family tradition of mushroom picking but rather about another quite traditional activity in the family – herbs picking.
Street where I grew up is a quiet street where you can enter fields just around the corner. There is a meadow and little stream where flowers blossom in the spring and summer. Many of them are herbs which generations of woman in my family used to pick up and cook different kind of remedies from them.
I remember when I was a little girl for every bump I had there was a special cream which my grandma made and cured everything with.
This skill and interest certainly is something I have inherited as well. I have done some herbs picking only few times here in Scotland so last summer as we got out of the forest and there was this beautiful meadow full of flowers I couldn´t resist and persuaded my parents to stay for a while.
They say that the best time for picking herbs is sunny midday, so that day was exactly like it welcoming us to the flowery meadow.
I felt recently that creating this video would of give me opportunity to connect with these parts of myself somewhat forgotten, connect with my ancestors whose life was so much connected with nature but for some reason they just tried to forget it. There is a lot of we can find in ourselves which is going into past generations of hundreds years ago. My need for nature coming to the basics is ´the calling´of my old ancestors whose lands were possibly taken and who were forced to become someone else than who they have been for generations.
So I went to Slovakia. The visit I had a bit of straggle with as circumstances to go weren´t the best once. I wasn´t even sure if I want to go as my mind tried to push in worries, worst scenarios and not the nicest memories and feelings. After all that was one amazing week and great escape from past difficult half an year.
In one week I have managed to see my family, have a tea with my grandma under very old walnut tree in the garden help my parents to water plants on the field as visit Bratislava with my aunts and enjoy summer warm evening at my uncle’s garden. That wasn’t the highlight of the week. Main reason I went back to Slovakia was a wedding of my best friend from my childhood. That was epic and amazing and wonderful and so much fun. I met friends I haven´t seen in years what broth so much memories and nostalgic feelings. We danced, we laughed, we made fun of each other as we have never got apart. Sitting with them on the terrace the day after wedding and just talk and laugh about the night before was just amazing and peaceful. I didn´t care anymore who might think what, what I have done wrong or said I have just enjoyed the moment as it was. Actually I have just enjoyed whole week as it was, no resistance, no bad feelings, no guilt, no pride, nothing.
One day I needed to make a trip behind the borders to Czech republic to Breclav. It is small town and capital of Moravia region in Czech republic. There is an old castle surrounded by park so apart of serious staff I needed to sort out that day I found half an hour to make a quick painting of a little bit forgotten but very nice building.