The Wisdom of Summer Sunsets

Balkan mountain range on film

I live not in myself, but I become Portion of that around me; and to me High mountains are a feeling, but the hum of human cities torture.    

Lord Byron 

This quote from Lord Byron really captures the feelings I experienced this summer. Spending more than three months in the countryside, I did become a portion of that around me. There is no greater sense of belonging, than the one you get living among nature. It is nice to be outnumbered by trees, rather than by cars and people. It is interesting how my sense of self increased in the countryside, without needing the validation of city life, quite frankly I was liberated from the need to be validated by anyone. There is a greater sense of freedom in the country, both physical and mental. You are less under pressure to fit, yet you get a stronger feeling that you belong somewhere.

This of course is the romanticised perspective of a person who has gone full circle from escaping the limitations of the small town to the big city and then experiencing the need to go back. I do believe that every person needs to journey out of the world they know to learn and grow, but I also believe finding the place to call home is equally important. I spent quite a lot of years of looking and even though I gained a lot of valuable knowledge and experience, I did not find a home in any of the places I have lived. The things that I disliked about those places pushed me back towards feeling at home where I started. 

A big part of my need to be home comes from living so close to nature and the mountain, which I grew up with. Living so close to the wild can get rid of a few years worth of stress in just a few short months. This is exactly how I felt and conveniently the Covid-19 pandemic was eliminating the urgency to be doing anything else with my life. We constantly try to push life in some direction, but maybe sometimes we just need to stop and just wait to see how things will turn out. There are bigger factors at play, and when you let go of control, you start seeing that maybe life has other plans for you.

I think this year, we all had a chance to stop and reflect on our lives in more human way, rather than the machines we are pressured to be by modern society. I believe that some forces don’t push us in the right direction and just because they are strong and mainstream, we believe they are the ones to follow. I think that when the world is at a standstill is exactly the time to free ourselves of those forces and reimagine our lives, finding greater freedom and peace. 

3 Comments

  1. I have missed life in the countryside since the pandemic hit the states. Unfortunately, It hasn’t left. I’m glad that you found some grounding in isolation. I have to say your photos are striking. The colors are so incredibly rich. What were these shot on? Many look to have been shot during blue hour, but maybe its a trick of the light or emusion?

    Glad to have found your blog!

    1. Hi Tobias,

      Thank you so much! The images were shot after sunset, or the darkest part of sunset on Kodak Gold 35 mm film. Where I come from in Bulgaria we have very bright sunsets in summer, so maybe that has contributed to the colors.

      1. I adore Kodak Gold 200. It’s actually one of the first film stocks that I reviewed. It certainly performs quite well during blue hour based on your results.

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