Wednesday Vignette – tracks for Lusse

Can you believe that only a year ago, the world outside looked like this – white expanses, full of tracks of the various creatures that wondered what the hell just hit them. On December 13th, the Swedes celebrate Lusse. I always get a little homesick and melancholy when that date rolls around, because nobody here knows those beautiful songs. And nobody here would ever consider donning a wreath of burning candles, and while singing, bring unsuspecting friends and neighbors coffee in bed, hours before dawn. I suppose there is always Youtube…

Anyway, in case you’re not familiar, here is a little excerpt I once wrote about Lusse: According to the Julian calendar, December 13 was the day of the Winter Solstice. This was considered a dangerous night, where animals were thought to be able to speak, and spirits and supernatural beings abound. The harvest, the threshing and the slaughter had to be finished before the so called “Lusse-night” and all the storage sheds filled with food and barrels of mead in preparation for winter. If you were done with all the work, you would paint a sign on your door with charcoal which would ensure your safety and protect you from all the supernatural activity going on outside. On this night, Swedes celebrated Lusse, the Goddess of Light, or as she has later come to be called – S:t Lucia.”




About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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13 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – tracks for Lusse

  1. Peter Herpst says:

    Beautiful images but aren’t you glad the weather has been kinder to Portland so far this year? Will you celebrate Lusse today? Coffee in bed sounds like a good way to get ready for a day of drining Glögg in front of the fire.

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh, you bet! I am THRILLED about the weather we’ve had so far. It’s allowed me to accomplish things outside, that I wouldn’t have managed to, otherwise. But, regardless of weather, I always miss Lusse – it brings light to the darkness. It’s a beautiful tradition that feels completely out of place here – even when people try. It’s just never quite the same. For one thing, I would be the only one singing, so it would just feel weird. Besides, I didn’t finish baking Lussekatter and gingerbread cookies yet. There are a lot of time consuming strings attached to this tradition… And so far, I’ve spent most of my free time outside, ignoring it all. Oh well… 🙂

  2. Tina says:

    I’m glad your weather has been gentler this year, thus far. Your photos are lovely though. Do I wish you a ‘Happy Lusse”?

    • annamadeit says:

      You know, I don’t think there is a specific greeting for Lucia, but hey – I’ll take it! Even an acknowledgement of the day over here, is nice. Thank you!

  3. Kris P says:

    Like Tina, I was wondering if it’s appropriate to wish you “Happy Lusse”? I know little to nothing of my own Scandinavian (Swedish-Finish) heritage even though I’m part of just the second generation in my family born in the US. It’s too bad, although I suspect I would do a very bad job balancing a wreath of burning candles on my head…My WV captures a very pink sunset:

    • annamadeit says:

      I don’t remember there being a special greeting, but like I said to Tina – I’ll take it! Thank you! About growing up far removed from your heritage traditions, I don’t have to look too far. My kids are blissfully unaware of all kinds of things that make me miss Sweden. Which makes sense. They are growing up in a different place, and have to shape their own traditions out of what is offered. I appreciate people trying to hold on to old ways, but adaptation of cultural traditions in a foreign setting always leave me cold. The Lusse (or Lucia) celebrations I have seen here have been as cringeworthy as the more and more common Halloween celebrations in Sweden. It just rings hollow…

      I’m especially glad to see your comment today. Have been thinking a lot about you and the rest of SoCal these past few weeks. Tragic and terrifying news abound – glad you’re alright!

  4. I’m just going out on a limb and wishing you a “happy Lusse!”…nice to bump into to you yesterday!

    My WV:

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Loree – I’ll take it! It’s such a privilege to be able to run all these silly holiday errands in the mornings this time of year, and avoid the worst crowds, and especially nice running into likeminded friends! 🙂

  5. tonytomeo says:

    Hey, what made those round footless tracks, the ones with the bootprints mixed in? They look like someone just poked a peg into the snow. Someone had these tracks appear on her patio, and wondered what they were from. I will try to send your post that way. (I don’t know how, but will try.)

  6. Alan @ it's not work, it's gardening! says:

    Oh to be finished with work until Spring… Lusse sounds pretty wonderful, except the waking up part. 😉

    My WV:

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