The limits of Sofia – autumn foraging

Sometimes the glowing lights of the city overwhelm and blind the senses and we forget about the all-encompassing existence of the reality beyond neon and asphalt. Mild and distant the pale sun of early November gently warms up the frosted facades of grey buildings. Staring through the window in autumn contemplation, far behind the blocks of Sofia we can glimpse the contours of a mountain, the twinkling of a lake that pictures the sky and a field that runs to meet the horizon. A fairy land, compelling but yet distant and at times hostile. Squeezed in our hive we wonder how to reach it.

Sofia

Pedaling through concrete alleys until the city suddenly shrinks and the mosaic of gigantic blocks stays behind is a great way to do so. Do you know that at the edges of the dwellings of homo-urbanis there is a gateway to another realm?  Once you cross the demarcation line guarded by patrolling dogs and watch-towers of industrial rubbish you enter in a land where only the distant and vague metallic roar of car engines reminds you of home. Then follow for a little while the asphalt road and you will see a lot of dust paths joining in. Choose one and walk boldly. They all lead to the same place.

From the limits of Sofia: (sub)urban harvesting

From the limits of Sofia: rosehips

Thorny bushes and shaggy shrubs- scouts of the forests – overlook the shabby neighbourhoods around and like polite hosts patiently wait for the moment people are gone so they can crack the concrete and start cleaning the mess. We get off the bikes and in a happy and idle trance forage rose hips, hawthorn and sloe – the last gifts of nature, already yawning and just about to fall asleep under a white blanket. Huddled under a magical mantle that for a while makes us oblivious to past and future we scoop up with hands from the bottomless well of life which is so abundantly present around us but often bypassed.Blackthorn (or Sloe)

In the chilling evening haze, with heavy backpacks, we head home towards winter anticipating the joy of producing what we can consume. Like an unconstrained medieval European imagining the wonders of the Far East we already dream of what spring can offer. Global industries – tremble! We are going local 🙂

Apples

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