Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kryžių kalnas (the hill of crosses)

A few weeks ago my mother went on a roadtrip with a friend through the baltic states in North-East Europe. They were travelling through Lithaunia, Latvia and Estonia. Driving through the countryside and forests over small twisting roads, visiting the old  medieval Hanseatic towns of Tallinn and Riga and many more sights along the way.

One of the places they were going to visit is called Kryžių kalnas (the hill of crosses) near Šiauliai in Lithaunia.
Over the centuries, the place has come to signify the endurance of Lithuanians during wars and occupations.  The Russians tried to destroy the hill a number of times, but the people kept coming back to place their crosses on this site. Since their independence the Lithaunian people have continued to pray for peace and for their lost loved ones, and left their crosses on this hill. There must be well over 100.000 crosses there. 

My mother asked me to carve something for her to leave there on that magical place and I made a small woodspirit cross from local Hazel. 
My little (pagan) contribution to the hill of crosses. 
As with all my carvings, there is a piece of 'me' in it and it feels pretty special to have that little cross hanging there on that hill.

Wandering between all those crosses, prayers and wishes, 
she found a good spot for the woodspirit cross, 

And she made a wish for peace and happiness in my life.

Immediately afterwards, a massive storm broke through right over the site,
with blinding lightning and cracking thunder. 
Heavy rain turned the day into night and hail the size of eggs 
made everybody run for shelter. 

Then, just as quickly as it started, the storm ended 
and light broke through the clouds.

It makes me wonder, was this a sign from the gods?