There were no berries this year, on Ingmarsö. We traded them in, apparently, for sun. Day after day of sun. No rain means few berries, and the ones that do grow are small and dry. Even the moss on the rocks was crisp.
I arrived Monday morning, and was at the mainland harbor by midday. Clouds briefly overhead.
We took a boat to my stepfamily’s house Some time, not too long after we arrived, the sun began to set. I watched from the steps.
Eventually some darkness. Even in the long days of Swedish summer it gets dark eventually.
My youngest sister and her family arrived later that night. But we woke up early in the morning and went to swim in the fresh water pond behind the house.
A dry forest crunches underfoot.
Ponds, however, are ponds. My nephew fell in. The rest of us got out covered in pond vegetation. Commonly known as slime. It was a wild time. Other bacchanalia included frog-catching and fishing with worms off the dock.
The next day we took a boat out into the Baltic. One can say many things about this part of the world. None of them complex.
Granite rocks slope directly into brackish water. The sky is wide, the sea brightly lit. There are houses, here and there. Boats, here and there. More boats than houses. More trees than boats. More sky than anything. Well, except perhaps sea.
The Stockholm Archipelago is either a place simply defined, or a place of worship for the erstwhile soul. Imagine Gregorian chants, only blue, and windy. Some people like the tropics best. Others prefer the blasted purity of a Northern maritime.
The thing is, it’s just so beautiful. We walked to the harbor, where there were boats, as is common in harbors.
We passed the Royal Yacht Harbor, where royals keep their, well, yachts.
The sky was pretty blue.
With so little on the horizon, one’s middle opens a space in recognition. You swoon but you remain. All the voices and startles left over from running an ordinary life take their leave. Consciousness stays. Which means you meditate without trying. Or maybe the landscape itself recites, ” Sky, land, water, sky, land, water,” until you reach a clear mind.
One gains perspective, floating, head visible, on a large dark blue green barely salt sea.
It is a time when empty means beautiful. Not lonely. Not void. Not sorrow. It convinces you that man’s natural state is rising joy and elation.
On the last day, my stepbrother-in-law and one of my sisters and I took a hike a little off the beaten track. I found room for water-lilies. There’s more room for beauty than I would have guessed.
As though every breath is some kind of drug.
Images: By me, except the red house and Swedish flag, by my brother-in-law.
Note: My apologies for the breathlessness here but there’s really nothing else that I could say. We will return to regular immediately.