Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An Island In The Sun

I promised you I wasn't running away, didn't I? And most wherever I'm going you can come with me.
It is truly summer now, an unpredictable season laden with the hopes and expectations of many, especially after such a hard, rainy winter. Whatever sunshine we can get, we are just drinking it in right now. The salmonberries are fruiting like tiny ornaments hung on the branches, but I scarcely have a moment to gather them up in my mouth as I dash from one thing to the next.
Salmonberries, by the way, are a curious mix of sweet and tart to taste and crunchy with seeds. The Alaskan branch of C.'s family worships them.
Lately I'm wearing so many gifts that even having to put tights on can't dampen the mood: my favorite feather, a lovely skirt from Anne's package and a vest from my friend Kristiina who's visiting for three weeks. You heard me! Her and her boyfriend Timo have been hanging out with us for a week now and I think they like it here...
We certainly like having them around. Brigit (I think it was you Brigit?) once remarked that I seems to live on what looks like Heaven on Earth and though I agree from the very ventricules and sinews and blood-cells in my body that comprise the heart, I have to admit that sometimes it takes someone else's eyes to open one's own.
As much as I love my Island home, and I really do (Enough love, for a whole other post in fact.), it is surprising how easy it is to get lost in the busyness of life, one's own frustrations and small things, rather being able to maintain the constant joy of just living. Which is why there needs to be adventure, celebrations, to jolt you out of your routine.
Celebrations like a friend's 70th birthday where kids climb trees, gypsy bands play and there's a Tesla Coil demonstration in the woodworking-shop. Yes I know. I live in a magical place, with magical people.
Roses in bloom.
A flowering of people.
Forest-homestead-party-attire: my new (actually NEW! Shocking, I can't for the life of me remember the last time I bought something New-new.) Velvet Leaf Lola top (Get One! Get Three! I love mine so much!), a gilt-edged vest from Kristiina and a festive fern-crown.
Like a lot of guests, we camped out for the night, so as to sit around the fire, take a steam, or just get to enjoy the night like it was never going to end. Should I live that long, I do hope that my own 70th birthday shindig is as joyous as this one, filled with friends and adventure, great music and good humor. Not to mention so raucous that the cops get called and after they make the band stop playing you wonder in the sauna what the heck is going on and decide to streak the scene. Yep. Now that's what I call growing old with dignity.
It was probably the perfect introduction into the community for my friends. Everyone was there, exhibiting all that is good and wonderful about living in a tight-knit, if idiosyncratic place.
The next morning the remaining guests enjoyed an almost miraculous breakfast with blueberry pancakes, so many melons and endless cups of coffee.
The post-breakfast lawn turned into a kind of circus/badminton court. Kristiina got to try the hula-hoop for the first time since childhood and figured out she was quite the pro at it. C. does good too.
With co-ordination like this, how hard could a hula-hoop be?
Around noon a bunch of us headed to a gorgeous, secret and sort of illicit little beach in the South End of the Island. We collected agates and cool stones and Ana and I swam out to a little beach and made dresses out of seaweeds. A tourist ship went by and someone said we should all take off all our clothes and wave spears.
And then real life? Well, I have to say that these pictures make it seem a tad more interesting and magical than it is in reality. Summer is a busy, stressful time for us and there isn't much beach lounging, but there are bees, and cows and boat trips to the sunset and kind friends who invite us over for a steam.

Islands in the summer may be stressful for those who live here, but they can also be very relaxing and calm. Our guests have been gracious enough to help out with digging and planting and cooking, in between naps and reading and bike trips. After seeing some of C.'s Native carving Timo has gotten intrigued by the idea of getting some carver's tools. Kristiina is determined to try every kind of organic ice cream our grocery store has to offer as well.

Kissa had her first birthday and celebrated it with fish and lazing around. Just like any other day then.

Kristiina whispers to horses.
In addition to country roads, ice cream and the glorious animal kingdom, the main tourist attraction has been the Dump, from which those guys made some wicked scores. Kristiina couldn't believe her luck in finding the perfect pair of 70s boots. She even found me this lovely dress.

She also got to find out first-hand how awkward posing for outfit-shots can be. Not as easy as one might think. It helps if you're wearing a hippie dress from the Height in San Francisco, bought back in the 90s during your exchange student days.
Most photos by Kristiina and Timo. Some photos by me. Thank you!

So that's it for what's been going on here. How are your endless Summer Days?

Oh and do not forget to enter lovely Amber's Violet Folklore giveaway! Summer is for summer frocks, folks.


  1. Wow, quite the birthday party indeed. Kinda reminds me of a hippie festival heehee. You look adorable hovering around your bee hives, heh. (as if you were not adorable ALL the time) And that dump dress is beeeautiful.

    My days have been good! A dear friend of mine is leaving next month so we're trying to spend as much time together as possible. We're going kayaking tomorrow, a first for her, I am excited! And this Saturday a gang of friends and I are going on a super special hiking trip into Gatineau Park.

  2. um. i died. i'm dead. the pictures of the horses! you and your fern headband. that perfect, perfect, PERFECTLY faded purplish scarf. i think Timo is like, the coolest name i've ever heard! i want to sit on your warmly lit little beach with you. it was me who said you live in heaven! <3

  3. theee most BEAUTIFUL post! absolutely gorgeous! The red flowered dress is so pretty on you, the color is perfect. Heaven is definitely the best word to describe where you are. How the mother earth is reflected in your spirit and these joyous photos. Undeniable beauty!!! xoxo

  4. Milla- I never comment here enough. I love visiting your little corner of the web so very much. All this loveliness fills my heat and almost makes it ache a little. I was out in Friday Harbor for Memorial Day weekend and it was SO beautiful. (Although we were "glamping" which I will admit here isn't really my style) I wanted to comment on your bee post and tell you how much your outlook on bee keeping blew my mind and opened it to a whole new way of thinking I had never considered. Thank you truly for all your inspiration!

  5. I think Gypsea says it best: "All this loveliness fills my heart and almost makes it ache a little"

    ~ loving you ~

  6. These are incredibly beautiful photos Milla ~ absolutely breathtaking and inspiring :-) I totally agree with Gypsea/Sadie Rose ~ You make me want to run away on a magical adventure with beautiful soul friends :-)xo

  7. umm, maybe your photos make your real life look interesting BECAUSE IT IS. my bones ache with the longing to return to the kind of life you are living. i keep going back to this place in my head where i think i should just stay in the bay area and deal with urbanity. and then i read a post like yours and re-member.

    even though i sound like a broken record, i must say it are the most radiant faery queen. good lordy.

    that party! the community! that beach! scoring from the dump! boat rides at sunset! cows! (cows?). i am envious of your busy-stress.

    thank you for such a luxurious post. i will keep coming back to this one, since the pictures communicate songs of such beauty that are too great to take in just one visit. lovelovelove

  8. You are such a cutie face with your fern crown and your bee keeper turban, all milkin' cows and knitting on the beach in that beautiful dump dress!

    Magical hippie party, seaweed dresses, boat trips to the sunset... oh, the beauty of it all! By the way, that picture of you looking back at Charlie in the boat with smiles on your cutie faces fills me with joy, you two are the best!

    Sundrenched hugs and saltwater kisses!!!

  9. Most amazing pictures ever! Love them all :)

  10. You may not always see it, but you truly live a fantastical life. All these photos are gorgeous, as are you.

  11. You are the most marvelous hippy farmer girl. Those photos made me lean closer to my screen and say, "Oh, my," because they're that beautiful. Especially the horses. Mine will never look that regal for me, heehee.

    I always return to your blog for inspiration, especially when I'm feeling creatively dry or just in need of something that makes my heart happy.

    I ♡ you! Your sweetness totally shines through in photos, girl. Hopefully we'll be able to talk soon!

  12. *sigh* such a beautiful post~it makes me want to jump in my home on wheels and have an adventure!

  13. I love all of these! Especially the fern crown. Totally off topic, but I ordered my first gunne sax dress today. I'm super excited and want to do a post about it and them on my blog. Your blog introduced me to them. I would love to include one of your pictures if you wouldn't mind. If that sounds cool please let me know and I will when I get to it!

  14. This is phototofantastic. And I just made that word up, because it fits. How can bees, and cows and planting and streaking from saunas not be as interesting as the photos are?! Crazy girl, you're too modest. I for one adore reading about island life...and even about the things that are plain hard work and just have to get done so everyone can get on with everything else that needs doing.

  15. Hello Milla love your blog... Have followed it for long time now and really enjoy and relate to chats,musings and wandering wonderings xx I would love if you have time to have a look the Victoria and Albert Museum website under 'The cult of beauty' the picture on the cover is you!! What do you think?love MelBee

  16. oh, your life is so amazing! and horses too? and secret beaches and swims? treehouses!? and a row in the boat? you, my dear, have found true heaven. hope your summer continues to be as beautiful, despite some hectic-ness.

  17. where's my teleportation device?! i need some island living right now!
    wowee wow, this post bursts with island beauty of every kind. obviously it isn't a fair representation of everyday, but the blessings immortalized in these photos certainly, in my mind, makes all the work and stress worth it.
    p.s. you are a terrible influence: now awaiting my own little v.l. top. but 12 bucks for organic cotton cuteness?! how can one not indulge...

  18. wow! amazing photos! this looks like the ideal june. i think i'll teleport up there with nicole :D

  19. i just figured out that i never commented here....and yet i've returned to this post and these photos and this abundant magical love more than once to soak it all in. oh millakins, you enchant with your footsteps and have found the perfect place to dance and spread it! my heart fills with peace and love when i see all these pictures. i'm so glad you've had kristiina visiting, and the two of you have been frolicking like island queens with flowers in your hair. oooooh how my heart flutters!!! thank you for this dear friend, for always giving rich bounty forth from your clever and spirit-full hands!