fika-reading

when life is like the movies

there is a scene in one of my favorite movies, ‘you”ve got mail’, that, when i see it, i think to myself, “i want that to be part of my life”. i’ve looked all over the internet for a photo of that exact moment in the scene to share with you, but i can’t find it anywhere. so, bear with me as i share a photo of just after my favorite little moment + describe this short snippet…

Youve-Got-Mail-Coffee-Shop

meg ryan plays a free-spirited, live from her heart, children’s bookshop owner named kathleen kelly whose business is closed down by the money-hungry, big business tycoon joe fox, played by tom hanks. seriously. a tom hanks/meg ryan movie. sooooo good. they are just magic together. anyway, in this scene near the end of the movie, kathleen has lost her store and is faced with reinventing her life. she is spending some of the newly acquired free time sitting at a window counter, sipping coffee, reading a book. all alone. just enjoying a quiet moment in busy new york city. soon, joe fox (spoiler!: they are now friends) appears outside the window, waving, and goes in to join her. that’s it. just a short, non-important scene in the movie. but, one that has stuck with me.

it’s such a typical nyc city scene, i think. and ever since i first saw that scene, crazy as it may sound, i found myself wanting to be her in that moment. alone. with my book + a cup of coffee. in the middle of the city. reading in the middle of whatever day it was. with a friend suddenly popping up to join me.

nelins-fika-sweden

today, i found myself doing just that. and, it wasn’t until i was in the middle of the moment myself, that i realized that i was living out that silly little scene from one of my favorite movies.

now, is this something that is petty + tiny +and really unimportant in the grand scheme of things? why, of course it is. i mean, c’mon, it’s me dreaming of living out something that happens in hollywood. something that wasn’t even real to begin with. it’s, as i’ve said… silly.

or is it? there is a part of me that thinks it’s not unimportant. of course, there are more important things than me finding the time to recreate a scene from a favorite movie. but, at the same time, this moment that i lived out in reality reminded me that movies make us dream + wish, and that’s a good thing. as long as we don’t go too far or get obsessed or forget to be grateful for what we have in our lives already. but, this was such a simple snippet of a movie, and i haven’t spent my life thinking about it, pining away for the moment i could be like meg ryan in ‘you’ve got mail’. this moment just happened. and it made me chuckle to myself and then give thanks for the crazy life that i live.

nelins-fika-piano

nelins-fika

here’s how it happened: today, when my love went off to fika with a friend, i decided to have my own little fika, but i had no idea where i would go. suddenly i saw a little cafe that was new – it wasn’t here when we lived here before, and i decided to go in. as i passed by its windows, i noticed a little window counter with some stools and decided i’d grab my coffee and plop myself down there to read and watch people. so, i ordered a blueberry muffin and a french coffee press, and made my way to this cozy space. it was not until i had cracked open the book, eaten my muffin, and drank half of my coffee, that i realized that i was leaning over, devouring the words on the page, resting my head on my hand, and completely enjoying this simple solitary moment in the middle of the day. however, i still had not even thought about the movie. just then, i looked up and saw a dear friend/family member appear outside the window, waving at me. he came in, walked over to me, we embraced, and then he joined me for a bit.

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fika-window-seat

when he had gone, i turned back to my book and my mind drifted to the the movie… i’d just lived out that favorite scene of mine! which, in itself is no big deal, but in the scheme of dreaming dreams about life and creating the kind of life that you want, it is a damn big deal.

so, with a quirky little grin on my face, i gazed out the window at the people passing by, took another sip of coffee, and turned back to the words on the page on the counter. here i was, an expat living in sweden, once again. creating the life that i had dreamed of, and giving thanks for all of the simple little things that make my life what it is.

me-fika-reading me-fika

onwards + upwards! xo

gatherings

the best thing about thanksgiving (besides the food – nothing can care to the food!) is gathering together. it’s such a simple concept. just get together and enjoy. but, i love the word, gather. it sounds so cozy. and it sounds so much more gratitude-filled that simply getting together. to gather takes time and intention and awareness. so, a holiday that has gathering at the heart of its purpose (and nothing else involving consumerism and competition and money) is most definitely a holiday for me.

this is exactly how i see thanksgiving. a chance to intentionally gather and simply be with people. it’s about stopping for one little day to really give thanks for the simple things that make life so sweet: food, shelter, family, friends, conversation, laughter. and, for me, i have so blessed as to have each one of these simple things in my life.

my fika group gathering the day before thanksgiving. what an amazing set of eclectic, unique people.

fika group asheville

gathering at home with my love + our friend… i cooked and baked thanksgiving food, and they roasted marshmallows. hehe.thanksgiving prep

roasting  marshmallows

thanksgiving day was spent at my parents’ house at lake junaluska. it was a snowy, cozy, lovely day. ♥tg11

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i am so thankful for the life that i live. for the people + places + gatherings that i have the opportunity to experience. now, it’s time to turn our sights to the holiday season – and all that comes with it. i wish each of you a peaceful, meaningful, and beautiful holiday. and, i invite you to join me on mediation mondays each week from now until the new year… as we gather together to celebrate, to say goodbye to 2014, and to set our dreams + intentions for 2015.

light + love xx

 

fika comes full-circle

today is my love’s last day of school at her university. ever. i dropped her off this afternoon, and will pick her up tonight after 8:30 – this is her long day. in the meantime, i have my book club meeting and we are discussing the geography of bliss – woo hoo! i totally choose that book because i read it this summer, and i knew i’d go crazy trying to get another new book read. plus, i loved it and i think it is a perfect book to lead a discussion on. what’s not to like? travel + the search for bliss. sounds like something i could have written. hehe.

however, that doesn’t begin until 6:30, so i’ve got some time on my hands…

world-coffee-cafe

back when lina started studying right after we moved to asheville, i also found myself with some extra time on my hands. actually, all i had was time since i had no job. basically, the world was wide open. so, how did i decide to use my time? well, i went to cafés and coffeehouses. i decided that, in order to reacquaint myself with this city that i adore and in order to take care of missing the swedish tradition of fika, i’d drink coffee all over the city and begin writing. i would hunker down in a corner, trying to figure out my next step in life. and before i knew it, i had dreamed up a crazy project – my 40 days of fika project  – yep. i visited 40 cafés in 40 days, and i blogged about it. you can find that blog {here}.

computer-fika-asheville

so, for most of the fall semester last year, i was busy drinking coffee, meeting people and writing + blogging. it was during these months that i finally began to call myself a writer. i claimed it and it empowered me. this crazy project of mine even led to me freelance for a local, independent arts + cultural newspaper. and, after my 40 days of fika were over, i created a fika group – because people (who i didn’t even know!) were wanting to meet and fika. to this day, we have 171 members of that group that visits cafés + coffeehouses once a week, meeting to sip on coffee and enjoy conversation. soon, my time while lina was in class was taken up by meeting people, facilitating my fika group, writing, and doing other life-errands. but the 40 days of fika was over – and it was a very special time for me.

window-table-world-coffee-cafe

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outsife-fika

a year and a half has passed now, and everything is winding down with our move to sweden just around the corner. and, as i said in the beginning, today is lina’s last day of classes at her university. she worked so very hard to make this dream happen – and now, she’s gotten her absolute dream job , and it’s time to look to the future.

so, when i dropped her off today, i knew exactly what i was going to do until my book club meeting: i was going to visit a café and fika – like i used to do.

fika-computer-coffee

here i am now, in my happy place. doing what i do. in the midst of people, ready to interact, if the opportunity to arises. but, otherwise sipping on my coffee and typing away. as i reflect on the time that has passed while we have been in asheville, what I have come to understand is that i am a storyteller. and this is the life that i seek to live: coffee. people. places. words. images. so, here I sit. feeling like things have come full circle. that this part of my journey is coming to a close… and I am ready to move on, continuing to tell my stories and to live life to the fullest.

light + love xx