Swedish memories | Day 161 of my 2023 Journal
I love how old memories mix with new experiences and how reflections on past times add to the depth of the current moment, like new strings on an instrument or different resonance.
I love the way the Scandinavian countries are so closely linked and how, to me, it was a big blur when I was a child. My grandmother was Swedish, and my father was born in Sweden. I remember the ferry to Helsingborg to visit my great-grandmother with white hair, an apartment with carpets, light through the windows, tea, and cookies, and her first question when opening the door: “Kommer du ihåg mig?” “Do you remember me?”. My first words in another language, except I did not realize Swedish was another language; I rather understood it as an obscure dialect.
My grandmothers' hands and eyes, her mixed Nordic language, the love, the vacations spent with her.
Sweden was also my grandmothers' vacation house in the woods called “Torpet.” The many beds on the attic floor with curtains, the dusty sunshine entering the windows, the trees, the water from the well, the open fire in the living room, and the stove heated with fire. We slept with hot stones in the beds in wintertime, looked for mushrooms in autumn, and went for long walks always. We ate herring and “Kalles” and crisp bread.
Those were powerful days of my childhood.
An equally amazing Swedish ingredient in my life is literature, first and foremost Astrid Lingren.
Her stories were part of my childhood, Ronja, my favorite hero, and Pippi, the girl who showed me everything is possible, and the Brothers Lionheart, so heartbreaking and beautiful story about love and courage, and transcendence. I could go on. Her books have opened my perspective several times: When they were read out loud to me as a little girl and when I read them to my siblings and later my children. I am sure they will enrich my life again when I become a grandmother.
Sweden is somehow a second motherland for me, and l love being back for a while.
Love and light
Thank you for reading
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