My heart feels so soft, so soulfully satisfied—kind of like it’s a vacation day, although, it’s not.
I went for a walk earlier in the snow—it snowed! This was something I didn’t expect. Ummm, isn’t it supposed to be sunny and getting warmer and heading into spring?
The part of me craving sunshine and warmth, and even today’s mentally-scheduled morning run, wasn’t so pleased.
But then I stepped outside. I took a moment to pause, to breathe, and I realized, it felt warm, the wind wasn’t too strong, and it was beautiful.
I looked at the Swedish homes, rooftops coated with snow, and smiled—there’s an incomparable beauty here, in these houses, that can’t be found anywhere else. Denmark, maybe. Norway, most likely. In Scandinavia. Ah, yes. But nowhere else. They’re distinct and unique and they feel like home.
As I walked, I felt into how grateful I feel to be here, and how I am still surprised that I am here.
I’ve been here for almost three years. I thought, originally, that I’d come for three months or six; well, I said at least three to my family because they were already a little unsettled that I’d quit my job in the first place—but I knew in my heart, I wanted to be here for at least six.
A part of me has always felt a little ungrounded, though, not totally settled—because I never knew how long I’d be here. I kept thinking I’d leave. I was waiting for the signs that it was time.
But no signs came. And so…I just stayed.
I can remember how I felt when I got off the plane and stepped into the Swedish air, the fresh, clean, pristine Swedish air—my soul felt so light. I felt so free. I’d actually never felt so free before in my entire life.
I was calmer and more relaxed in those first few weeks, and maybe months than I’d ever been in my life. I felt a deeper sense of peace within me. As if something said, “It’s okay to relax.”
I am thankful to be here, to have been able to be here.
It’s something I used to dream about when I was young. We’d come here and visit my grandparents every once and a while for a month for vacation, but our visits always felt too short, and they were always years apart. And I’d always wanted to stay so much longer.
But I never could. School and work and life—all reasons that kept me away.
Until, I finally could. Come. Be here. Stay.
It hasn’t been all calm or easy or good-feeling, though.
As I think happens with most of us, the inner pressures of life settled in. What do I do next? What do I do for work? Where do I go? How do I make money? What will I do to survive?
It seems, we can always have some element of uncertainty that can tug us out of the loving, peaceful embrace that breathes in the present moment. Always something enticing us to look away.
I have this way of always being a little restless, never quite satisfied where I am. There’s always something outside of me that I don’t have—some thing I want, some goal I want to achieve, some place I want to be. And for some reason, my inner world has difficulty dealing with the discrepancy.
In the winter, I start to crave the warmth of the warm summer sun, and in the summer, I long for cool, crisp breeze and changing colors of fall. Just, for one example.
I think many of us are like this.
It’s so easy to think about all the things we don’t have—of where we’re not in comparison to where we’d like to, ultimately, be.
And it’s also so easy to allow these thoughts to make us feel bad, or restless, or unsatisfied—to pull us out of our present, out of the experiences and moments we’re currently living.
It’s okay to want and dream and long for and desire, but we have to find a way to do this, while honoring the reality of where we are right now.
Soulfully allowing and embracing the pure truth of it.
Because it’s where we’re at.
And it’s precious.
And even if it’s hard, or we’re going through something that we don’t to, we’re still in the process of learning something we’re meant to.
We have to find a way to hold space for all of those things we want in the future, without allowing that longing to taint or distort or pull us so far out of the present, that we aren’t actually able to appreciate where we are, or how far we’ve already come.
We need to be able to breathe into the moments we’re currently living.
This morning as I walked, I felt again, how thankful I am to be here—how much I love it. How much I appreciate it.
And how one day, when I am no longer here, my heart will likely ache for the memories and moments I’m currently living. I’ll miss the nature that surrounds me, and the ease with which I can move into it—within minutes I can find myself on a walking path filled with trees and green and fields. I’ll miss this walking path.
I’ll miss the air. It really is the cleanest air I’ve ever breathed.
I’ll miss hearing Swedish. Listening to Swedish. Being surrounded by Swedish. There’s something about it that makes my heart smile.
I’ll miss my grandma’s cat, Måns, who is the most cuddly, love-hungry cat I’ve ever met.
And, I love the calm, gentle routine I’ve cultivated—and how everything I have is in easy walking distance.
I wrote an article, shortly after coming here, about how I didn’t want to let this time pass by without being fully here, in here, in these moments, living them.
It’s what I want for all of us—to find a way to balance all of the restless thoughts and wants and desires we may have, with the utter appreciation for where we actually are right now. To allow all of it. To hold space for all of it.
But to always come back and ground ourselves, right here, where we are right now.
I’m typing this while I look outside the window. It’s windy and the ground is covered in snow.
I think the snow will turn to rain later, and then it will melt, and in a couple of days, it will be sunny and warmer again—another example of the shifts of change.
I won’t be here forever. I know this.
And while a deep part of me does long to be elsewhere, I am thankful to be here too.
I love being here too.
And I know, at times, a part of me will miss this when I’m not.