we’ve been back in sweden a little over a week and a half now, and we have already made a tiny little road trip out of the city & into country to visit some friends & have dinner. every time i head out into the swedish countryside, i am in awe of the beauty. it’s not like in the southern & eastern part of the united states where there are houses, neighborhoods, and tiny towns spread everywhere outside the city limits & the cities almost seem to blend together in many places. once you leave a city’s limits in sweden, you are in the country. big time. there may be a tiny cluster of 2 or 3 houses somewhere, or even a small little village (comprised of 10-20ish houses, a church, a medical center, one little diner, & a grocery store), but other than that, it’s swedish rollings hills, forests, wild animals, and lakes/archipelago islands). so when you leave the city, you get to breathe in the fresh air and see the big sky and get away from everything. i love it.
our friends live about 45 minutes outside of norrköping (by bus) in an old, really typical swedish cottage. they have been renovating, planting (an amazing garden/almost mini-vegetable farm), and enjoying the country-life since they moved there last fall. it is a completely different lifestyle than the city life, one where everything has to be planned & there is much work to do; but, the rewards are the beauty of the surroundings and the simplicity of life. being there reminded me of my days of living in the woods on the top of a mountain in NC. i loved it, but it was so hard to commute back & forth to work. (stupid practical things.) if only i could be a full-time writer, work from home, and live in the country. or, if only i could have enough money to have a place to live in the country & and in the city. for, while my heart beats wildly for the untamed, simple, inspiring, and natural lifestyle of the countryside; my heart also skips a beat when i feel the pulse and the activity of living in a city. the people, the sounds, the activities, the electric life and eclectic people that make up a city inspire me. and the silence, the peace, and the quiet inspiration of the country give my soul rest. the city & the country. both exciting – in different ways – & both necessary in my life. in a perfect world, i would live 6 months in the swedish countryside & six months in a US city… but, i can’t complain at all. i’ve got the best of both worlds already. 2 places, 2 countries, i call home… i just need to find a way to balance my time in each place equally. ♥
so, after an amazing, home-grown, vegetarian dinner complete with wine, cheesecake (NY style) and a beautifully peaceful sunset walk around the peninsula where our friends live, we made our way back to the city. to our cozy apartment where zola was waiting for us. as we climbed into bed, with our windows open so the night breeze would keep us cool, i could hear people talking on a balcony nearby. and then, i heard it. they were playing music… john lennon’s “imagine”. a perfect way to say goodnight.
wishing you peace & beautiful things today.