Two weeks ago, I took the bus for 15 minutes, just out of Gjøvik, and walked another 15 minutes to reach @indalforestretreat .
Plan: receiving, being in the presence. No wifi. And getting out of my winter cocoon. For 2 months we were asked to work in home office, but now we can butterfly again #Imbolc. I got a tantric massage, read Jack London, rested, stayed in this beautiful little cabin with nice window view, and … hugged their centuries old ash tree.
When I entered this farm, the first being that drew my attention was the old farm tree. Some years ago I wrote the blog Sacred Garden Trees of Norway and Sweden after reading some academic research by Douglas Forell Hulmes about these special trees in Scandinavia which protect the farm. Thanks to his work, I learned these garden trees represent ancestral connection and belonging. The roots of this practice is more than thousand years old. Not many Scandinavians know about this living heritage. Two summers ago, I visited a friend in the north of Norway and asked him about the “tuntreet” at the farm land and met my first garden tree, about which I wrote in Sacred Garden Trees in Norway, pt2. It was exciting I got acquainted with another tuntre, so close to where I love now. I thought it was cool the human companions of this place knew the tree was the guardian of this place.
It is an ash tree. Yes, like Yggdrasil, the world tree of old Norse mythology. As old Norwegian myths say that the first man is made from an ash tree, I felt this tree had some male energy, which balances with the mostly female energy I feel in this soft hilly landscape with its deep Mjøsa lake.
The human companions told me they found photographs of 100 years ago where this tree still looked that big, so that old man is standing and safeguarding this place for some time. They said they always let guests guess how wide the tree is, so they will hug the trees – as this is a way to help guessing the width. I am not going to give the answer. Come to Gjøvik, stay there and hug that tree yourself :).