Today we thought would possibly be the day with the mildest temperature in a long time. The weather forecast had announced plus 4 degrees Celsius. So, we thought that this would be the most suitable day for trying to get the dome in place. I have been a bit nervous about that “adventure” but it had to be done before the winter.
When the morning came today it was truly the warmest day in a long time. The snow and ice that had been on the ground for a couple of weeks had melted! It had been a warm night, but also windy. That of course had helped the snow and ice to melt. And oh, was it windy!
As I just wrote I have been a bit nervous for the adventure of getting the Christ Pantocrator and especially the big dome up to the top of the lantern. Since the roof is steep and it is rather high up, about 6 meters. We had investigated different ways of getting the dome up, but not found farmers with tractors with “arms” to lift high enough, so we were back to manual labour. And of course that has risks… We had asked a few persons to pray for this task today, so I knew that there were a few praying persons remembering us today. Encouraging and comforting, but still… Also during this last night at times I was awake and thinking about the risks of falling down… Then in the early morning when I read the texts for today, I noticed that in addition to this being the day when we venerate St. Gregory Palamas, it was also the day of St. Philip, one of the twelve apostles. I rejoiced! Because I thought of the text in Acts 6 when Philip was directed to the Ethiopian eunuch in the desert… After the task he was there to accomplish Philip was suddenly “lifted” away, to a totally other location. I found so much comfort in this, because it reminded me that our Lord who could lift Philip to another city in seconds could of course also hold my husband Lärkan and Bertil “in place” on the steep roof. So, comforted I set off for the day. Of course we also prayed to St Joseph himself to help us with this “detail” on the chapel to venerate him….
But after some preparations, we noticed that it was really windy. Our helper Bertil, that we had “called in” for the task, told us that he had checked on his trip to our place… it was wind velocity 14 meters per second… Quite windy… With tears in my eyes I made a short prayer that the wind would calm down in a while. You can imagine my joy when in a short while it did. I was happy and felt – again – comforted! My eyes filled with tears again, but this time tears of joy and thankfulness.
Then we started:
My husband, Lärkan, climbed up and unscrewed the lexan-plastic that had protected the hole on top of the lantern. Our friend Bertil who we have hired many times for special tasks, carried the board with the icon up to the chapel.
Then Lärkan took the board with the icon and brought it up to the lantern.
He got it in place and reinforced with glue, wooden plugs and screws. Then it was time for lunch break. After lunch the wind was still calm, even calmer. Thank God!
A stand was prepared to make it easier to get the dome up. Here Lärkan is thinking of how to proceed… Look how we did it:
Here Karim, who is on an internship with us, is helping out from the right. Bertil is pushing from below and Lärkan struggling with pulling the dome upwards…
Here You se how Lärkan is clinging to the dome from the upside. Bertil has climbed up the ladder too. Karim is helping to hold it too. It took a while to get it up…
Then, finally we succeeded. In the front on the picture above is myself, now also up on the roof to help lift the dome in place. But shortly before this moment, when the three of us were lifting the dome up from the steep slope and Lärkan was standing “behind” the lantern: himself, Bertil and I lifted it and we all pushed to get the dome in place up on top of the lantern, then Lärkan had a scary moment: he came out of balance and felt he was almost falling backwards… Probably there were angels holding him upright then… just as when by the grace of God Philip was lifted…. Another reason to thank! So many blessings today! But I can assure You that after this adventure we are tired. When the sun set – now at 3 o´clock in the afternoon – this was the view looking up hill:
A rather perfected sight I think! I am so thankful for all the blessings that we have experienced this day, even a few more than I have told here.