This picture is taken in the garden of our family summer house in Sweden. When you stand there, looking at the view, the field seem to bend and give the field a rounded shape. My father used to say that “this is the proof that the earth is round, look!”
When my parents bought this land 50 years ago, the soil where the house was to be, was full of stones (as the soil and farmlands is in this part of Sweden) and my father used the stones to build this beautiful stone wall around the grounds. I remember once a man came to see us, I must have been about 10 years old, and he looked around and said very proudly; “you can see that there’s been settlers here since a long time, these old stone walls are almost ancient”… I remember smiling, feeling awkward correcting him, but I just HAD to tell him about my fathers work!
Between the stones in the wall it was full of people! Yes, you heard right, the walls were habitats for my invisible small size friends. I could sit forever in front of the wall, talking to them and making up stories about their life…
Across the field you see a house, that’s where my summer bestie lived (and still does). Me, her and her sisters played all day long during the school vacation. One of our favorite places to play was on one of the many huge piles of stones, also called cairns, where farmers had thrown up stones to clear way for farming. In those cairns the people in the olden days dug down things they wanted to get rid off, for example empty bottles, buckets, medicine jars (sometimes still full of pills..) and we built our own houses there, digging up amazing treasures (broken and rusty…) contributing to our game…
I had so much freedom! We were playing from early morning to late night, losing sense of days and time…If not in the cairns, we had other “houses” in the woods or we were swimming in the lake. We could also sit for hours high up in an old cherry tree and spit stones…I remember though that I had to follow one rule, and it was to be home before the sun set…and if you know about the midnight sun …. it meant it was pretty late before I had to check in. And I remember my mum rising her eyebrows when she saw her daughter arriving on the doorstep JUST when the sun disappeared behind the trees, with soil black dirty hands, knees and feet..
During these years we didn’t have running water or electricity in the cottage, and I remember going out in the garden to a reservoar for raining water, filling up a watering pot to bring in, and then try to scrub off the worst before going to bed…
3 years ago I stood exactly at this spot, saying “yes” to Michel. Getting married surrounded by our closest family is such a beautiful memory.
I felt like sharing this here, because for me those childhood memories are treasures that I today appreciate with so much love.
Thank you mum and dad for letting me experience this freedom, this creativity and joy! (and now I can hear my father adding, “oh, yes, but so you know, I was never further away than I could keep an eye on you so nothing bad happened)
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