Do you remember Yuki and Emi, my Japanese friends? They asked Olle and me to join them on their great hike through the woods. Officially, their goal is to find mushrooms for the restaurant. Unofficially, they use it as an excuse to get away from it all and catch up. They spend the night in their log cabin that makes you feel like you have been transported to the Japanese Alps and has a name straight out of a fairy tale: The Hare and the Nightingale.
The cabin is made entirely out of wood, there is a Japanese lamp in every room and on the ground floor there is even a genuine spiral staircase. Olle and I arrived there on a Friday. It was a gorgeous autumn day, so we decided to explore the area on our own. Olle said he knew where to go: the best mushrooms grow near ancient trees. He moved some fallen leaves around here and there with his hiking shoe and to his credit we did find some mushrooms, but not a whole lot. As time went by, we ventured deeper into the woods and strayed farther and farther from the path. You can probably guess where this is going: by the time we had gathered enough mushrooms to surprise Yuki and Emi, neither one of us had the faintest idea of where we were.
We were truly lost in the woods. I took out my phone but of course the battery had died at the worst possible time. Olle began to laugh. We had to go about this in a completely different way. “The forest will show us the way,” Olle said. He extended his arm to me. “We have to look for the clues that nature is giving us. What can we hear? What can we see? Along the way, let's also gather some wood for the fireplace.”
I love Olle and his boundless optimism, but I must admit I was not feeling very confident. I heard the soft rustling of the wind and the creaking of the branches overhead. I could not hear anything that told me how to get back to the cabin, though. I noticed that the light had begun to fade from the sky. Then we saw a small hare with ears perked up between the trees in front of us. Was it staring directly at us? We felt we had no choice but to follow it. It kept running a short distance ahead before stopping to give us time to catch up. It was getting darker and colder and just as a light drizzle began to fall, we found ourselves on a wider path and saw the cabin in the distance. A deer gave us a curious look from between the trees.
Olle and I were struck dumb. Just as we felt things couldn't get more incredible, we heard the song of a nightingale. We approached the cabin through the gorgeously landscaped garden. Emi was waiting for us at the door. It was like she had known exactly when we would arrive. She was wearing a housecoat whose colours matched those of the forest around her. We could see candles burning inside. “Come in quickly,” she said, “we were just about to have some tea.”
Yuki was sitting in the conversation pit. She was wearing a kimono that, just like her quilt, was made from Emi's old collection of ribbons: “We're going to play a game!”
Olle sat down next to her on a sheepskin. I found a spot on the carpet near the fireplace, glanced at the small stuffed fox near me and suddenly felt overcome with inspiration for the new autumn collection.
I hope you have an amazing winter.