Walking through life sabina spengler

We did not only have a wonderful hike, find enough flowers to fill her jar and spend a lovely day in the mountains, but it was also the moment of a Great Revelation – Valérie’s clip-on cell phone magnifier! It works like a good macro lens and I was stunned when she showed me the photo possibilities it opened up. Suddenly I got infinitely close to a seemingly ordinary butterfly and discovered how it was all furry in vivid pink and green. A tiny, shimmering beetle turned out to be all dotted and the mullein flower suddenly revealed its intricate pattern of stalks and pistils.

These days I think thrice before buying any gadgets, but this loupe passed the test. Some days later I went to the city, bought it as a little gift to myself and felt like a kid at Christmas: the rest of that day was spent with this wonderful new present!


I had a closer peek at flowers, insects, trees – anything that didn’t move too much! However, it became clear how difficult it was to get that close up, how shaky my hands actually are and

This little device really opened up a whole new world to me – it’s like I get a completely different relationship to the objects of my close-up photos. Suddenly a bumblebee feels like a fluffy little friend, and the center of a flower as the amazing piece of art that it is. Even more than before, I realize that Nature is the greatest artist of them all and that even the tiniest part of it is noting less than a miracle. I am so immensely grateful to be alive among all this beauty.

During my childhood in Småland, Sweden, there were two sure indicators that summer had arrived (since weather in Sweden was not always a reliable one): strawberries were ripe and us children would run around with bare legs. Never mind if it was 10 or 30 C outside; we really enjoyed the freedom feeling of wearing shorts and skirts without stockings, always having the fresh air on our legs and naked feet in our clogs or sandals.

As an adult living in the countryside I enjoy the same thing: from May until September – summer is longer here – it’s Bare Leg Time. In shorts, skirts or dresses I enjoy the warmth of the sun and sometimes a cooler summer breeze on my legs. It makes me feel just as free and unconcerned, energized and curious as way back during my childhood summer vacations when I had an eternity to fill with play and laughter, mosquito bites

Today I fill that eternity with other things. Thank goodness we have no mosquitos up here, but lots of crickets making that very special summer sound (especially at night). I play a little less, instead I enjoy going on endless hikes on higher altitudes or spending whole days in my garden. I eat less ice cream, but more fruit: fresh apricots from the Rhône plain, or raspberries and wild strawberries from my garden. This summer fruit is growing abundantly and I discovered how utterly delicious the wild cherries are! They don’t have much pulp so you have to fill your mouth with a whole handful of them to get the taste. Then you must chew carefully not to bite off bits of your teeth with the pits and afterwards you can make a competition on who spits his pits the farthest!