The Swedish countryside has it’s very own little culture. It is a comfortable culture, one I like and one that is very similar to that of my home state of Vermont. Right down to what Jens and I have dubbed the “country wave.” A slight flick of the wrist with an open hand and a deep nod in the general direction of any stranger you come into contact with. I enjoy it because it gives me an opportunity to connect with locals without having to yet speak with them (my Swedish is non-existant) It also cracks me up to see this greeting translates directly from my home in the US.
Oh! Then there’s the gardening! I definitely enjoyed the act of gardening and planting when I started. There’s something magical about the act of planting, getting dirty and sore, and then watching the first sprouts rise from the dirt. I now realize there is even more magic once the vegetables and fruits ripen! Just the other day we had our very first strawberry from the garden, pulled a few deliciously pink potatoes from the earth, and witnessed our cabbage patch bursting with leafy greens. And then there’s the wild fruits and fungus growing around the house- Golden chanterelle mushrooms, blueberries, wine grapes, gooseberries, apples and rhubarb! So.Good. We’ve already started harvesting the chanterelles (Jens makes a delicious sauce with them) and will be making a rhubarb pie this evening.
And my personal favorite- the silence. Or, well, the lack of city sounds. Sometimes the birds are so loud I have to do my writing inside so I can think straight. We have neighbors with children, but the dense pine forest muffles the sounds of play (or screaming, if they’re upset about having to leave the late summer sun for bedtime) It is relaxing here, and I can get my writing done with little distraction or temptation to give up completely and go shopping. Jens will be building a deck on the house this fall, and I deeply look forward to sitting in the cozy seats under the awning in the rainshine. Fresh air to fill my lungs and a hot cup of coffee to keep me warm. Sounds divine. That said, things are not so bad from where I currently sit- at the dining room table next to a large window overlooking the backyard, garden and forest. Fingers crossed I am here to witness the next moose that crosses the yard.