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Our Andalucian paradise

My husband and I had lived in Mexico City, LA, Paris, Guadalajara, Oslo, Montreal and Vancouver. On a rainy November night we moved to a small town an hour inland from Malaga. 'Our Andalusian paradise' is about the historical town of Ronda, the mountains that surrounds it, the white villages dotted amongst them, of hikes, donkey trails and excursions around Andalucía and journeys further afield.

Do you choose April?
Thursday, April 1, 2021 @ 4:28 PM

Shock of colours. Photo © Karethe Linaae
Shock of colours. Photo © Karethe Linaae


I choose April” my father would always announce in his booming baritone around this time of the year. He was quoting the first part of a Norwegian poem from the 1870s, though he never continued, so I doubt that he ever knew the rest of it.

Exactly 26 years ago I was very pregnant. In fact, I was overdue by a week, but the stubborn being inside me refused to budge regardless of how many stairs I ran up, buckets of water I lifted, and all the other things they warn you NOT to do as it might bring on labour. I assumed that the mystery being wanted to wait until April 23, which was my father’s birthday. However, he burst out on the 18th of the month. I had no idea about the significance of the date at the time, but when I announced the arrival of my beloved son on the phone from Canada to my parents in Norway, dad told me that it also happened to be the birthday of my son’s great grandfather. Not only was it the same date, but he would have turned 100 that year.

This cannot be a coincidence?

I thought then, as I think now, that my long-departed grandfather and my yet-to-be-born son had plotted this together from the place where before and afterlife meet. They had decided that my lad should be the great unifier of the family by entering on the very same date as his great granddad, only 100 year apart to the day.

They could have chosen another time, but they choose April.


Andalusian lawn mowers. Photo © Karethe Linaae
Andalusian lawn mowers. Photo © Karethe Linaae


And why not? April is a fantastic month. Granted, this specific time in this specific year is incredibly challenging for many people who worry about their livelihood, home, family, health, economy, and everything else. We are still in the eye of the storm, battling new waves, but at least now there is a flickering light at the horizon.


Babbling brook. Photo © Karethe Linaae
Babbling brook. Photo © Karethe Linaae


On a walk the other day we passed a stone cairn. It must have been made by one of those freakish balance-artists who put stones on top of one other in completely impossible ways. The figure had a big rock head and an awkward forward-hunching body. Yet there it stood in the wind, laughing gravity in the face. It was as if it (who likely also had come from the place where before and afterlife meet…) was saying in its dry and crackly underworld voice:

"DEFY GRAVITY! Age is just a number. Volume is relative."

So, on days when we might be a bit weary on the trail and somewhat creaky in the joints, we too can do the same as our friend the stone cairn - choose to defy gravity. We too can choose April.


Stone cairn leaning east. Photo © Karethe Linaae
Stone cairn leaning east. Photo © Karethe Linaae

Like 2


migueldelnorte said:
Saturday, April 3, 2021 @ 12:22 PM

I always look forward to your photos, and your April ones together with your comments provided a wonderful inspirational effect. Of course, I am very biased towards April myself, as I share your son's birthday, separated by just a few days from that of my own son. My mother-in-law was born on the 1st of April, so the month always started happily with an April Fool joke. So we choose April!

The poem itself is very exciting and defines the month as one of great change. Thank you for mentioning it and I reproduce it below in English to be enjoyed in full.

April for me I choose!
In it the old things tumble,
In it things new refresh us;
It makes a mighty rumble,-
But peace is not so precious
As that his will man shows.

April for me I choose,
Because it storms and scourges,
Because it smiles and blesses,
Because its power purges,
Because it strength possesses,-

In it the summer grows.

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

cwiz said:
Saturday, April 3, 2021 @ 2:05 PM

I, too, love April. It is a time when the world seems to awaken and the flowers that have been sleeping all winter spring into action to produce their beautiful greetings to all. For me, it is also a time of remembrance and a little sadness for loved ones lost long ago but not forgotten. I enjoy it every year.

Thank you, Karethe!

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