A Swedish Christmas Tale

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A Swedish Christmas Tale

Far, far to the north, where nights are long and cold, and darkness falls heavily upon the land, there is a little town nestled between the edge of a glassy lake and a wide evergreen forest. At this time of year – early December – the dark ice on the lake glistens and the trees of the wood stand silent, their branches bowing low under heavy snow.

The homes in the little town are painted dala-red and sun-yellow, spring-bright-green and mermaid-blue. This reminds the people of the little town that, long as winter lasts up in the far, far north, and as dark as the darkest night gets…

It won’t be forever.

And so the fishermen mend their nets and the womenfolk knit woolen socks. The children play marbles and chase the puppy up and down the stairs – though not at the same time! And the cows and horses sleep in their straw beds, waiting.

Waiting for the snow to melt. For the warmth to come.

For the first hint of light to return.

During the long slumber of the town – and of nature itself – the people sometimes dream of a beautiful young maiden. She hides warm biscuits and small crusts of bread in the folds of her apron, and glides noiselessly into the dark catacomb tunnels, where the Christians hide. On her head is an evergreen wreath studded with candles to light her way.

Meanwhile, the elder fishermen pull from their pipes and watch the brooding shadows nestled in the hushed corners of the house. They remember the terrible famine that swept through the land, and how dreadfully they and their families suffered. There are times, even now, when they hear the echoes of a ship out on the lake, cracking through dark ice as it heads toward them. Is it laden with apples and potatoes? The yearning is as deep as the hunger. A maiden stands at the bow, her head wreathed in a glowing light that promises salvation.

Today, on this cold winter’s morning, something is different. There is a stirring in the aching limbs of the evergreens, and a breath of… what?

Not snow. Not the wild animal scent of creatures struggling to survive the long Nordic night. No.

Cinnamon!

Ginger!

Chocolate!

 

Steam clouds the windows of many of the homes in the little town as the eldest girl-child in each rushes to and fro. Her wooden clogs clack-clack against the floor as she gathers the ingredients for pepparkakkor treats in the rosy dawn of December 13th.

Now she carries her tray, laden with hot chocolate, saffron buns, and gingerbread cookies, up the stairs, an evergreen wreath upon her head with candles to light the way. Her sisters in tow behind her each carry a candle as well – and they sing. They sing!

 

 

Natten går tunga fjät,
runt gård och stuva.
Kring jord som sol’n förgät,
skuggorna ruva.
Då i vårt mörka hus,
stiger med tända ljus,
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia.
Night walks with a heavy step
Round yard and hearth,
As the sun departs from earth,
Shadows are brooding.
Therein our dark house,
Walking with lit candles,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!
Natten var stor och stum.
Nu, hör, det svingar
i alla tysta rum,
sus som av vingar.
Se, på vår tröskel står,
vitklädd med ljus i hår,
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia.
Night walks grand, yet silent,
Now hear its gentle wings,
In every room so hushed,
Whispering like wings.
Look, at our threshold stands,
White-clad with light in her hair,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!
Mörkret skall flykta snart,
ur jordens dalar.
Så hon ett underbart
ord till oss talar.
Dagen skall åter ny,
stiga ur rosig sky,
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia.
Darkness shall take flight soon,
From earth’s valleys.
So she speaks
Wonderful words to us:
A new day will rise again
From the rosy sky…
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!

 

God Jul!
Happy Santa Lucia Festival!
Merry Christmas!

May that most Essential Light we long for uplift our hearts and our very being this holiday season – and forever after.

 


[1]https://littlebearabroad.com/sankta-lucia-english-translation/

By |2019-01-28T06:52:30-07:00December 11th, 2018|Categories: Seasonal|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |2 Comments

About the Author:

Krista is a gifted healer who connects people more deeply to the Life Force inherent in Nature. This powerful Life Force Energy, this Intelligent Grace, uplifts and enhances health and well-being at every level, and can improve sleep, detoxify existing physical and emotional issues, strengthen immunity, clarify relationships, and increase overall vitality.

2 Comments

  1. Carola December 15, 2018 at 6:42 am - Reply

    This is so beautiful written, Krista! Thank you for sharing!
    “Look, at our threshold stands, white-clad with light in her hair, Santa Lucia!”
    Happy Holidays!
    God Jul!

    • Krista Callas December 15, 2018 at 10:34 am - Reply

      Thank you, Carola! God Jul and Happy Holidays to you and your family as well!

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