It is easy to be negative about Sweden, above all as the long slog of winter grinds on and on and the grey darkness threatens to swallow you up in its melancholic misery. Everything is wrong, everything is tedious, life is just one long drudgery. Then Spring creeps quietly up and suddenly, seemingly overnight, a day like today explodes in such extraordinary beauty that it feels like being in love for the first time, everything is so wonderful and beautiful and nothing is wrong and you can’t stop smiling.
I took the bus home from work today (after a night shift at Lindesberg Hospital) and gazed out at the fields and forest, the birches finally bursting into leaf (they seem greener from one day to the next), the glory of the deep blue sky above me. Arriving at the bus/railway station in central Örebro I saw people sitting in the “Spring position” – leaning backwards against the wall of the bus-shelter, faces upturned to the morning sun, eyes closed, lips unable to conceal a secret smile, spirits laughing somewhere deep down. A sunny Spring-Summer in Sweden must be as close to paradise as one can come on earth.
Last weekend we had a meeting and conference for the Swedish Christian Medical Fellowship, which has the unlikely initials of KLM – Kristna läkare och medcinstudenter. It was held at a conference centre called Kåfalla Manor some 50 minutes north of Örebro, among the forests and farms east of Lindesberg. The program was packed but when it was all over I had the chance to wander around the lake and through the forest with some friends. Here is the website for Kåfalla (in Swedish). And here are some of my own photos:
One of the signs of Spring in our corner of the world is the birds. Perhaps most noticeable are the swans and the geese, which we see flying in formation far above, heading north. The unmistakeable cry of the Canada geese, even if not so beautiful, fills our hearts with hope and happiness, because it is a herald of light and warmth. Summer is coming, our hearts lift. Outside our window smaller birds are hopping around on still branches: I just spotted a red breasted domherre on the fence between our house and the neighbors’. I thought fleetingly that I should try to capture it in a picture, but I know it will be long gone before I can get my camera out. But here is a shot from earlier in the Spring, a few weeks back, when the ice had just started to retreat from the brown waters of Svartån, the river that runs through the middle of Örebro. Not a migratory bird but one of our permanent residents, happy to at least get free access to the delights below the surface.