Here we are again. Another gray day with rain. Summer in Sweden can be a bit challenging, and with my luck, I've caught a nasty cold. I've been sleeping quite a lot and had a fever. No energy in my body. I woke up slightly in the afternoon and felt strong enough to go to the store and buy some food, as well as plan something tasty for the evening.
I drove off and rolled down the window. There was a slight drizzle in the air, but it was fine to rest my arm on the window, and that lovely summer feeling came over me. It wasn't cold, and when I stuck out my hand to feel the air playing around my fingers and flowing over my palm, letting it cool off with the breeze and moisture, a story - a kind of song about life - began to form in my mind; It was a story of being alive and longing for a deeper experience - to explore the world.
"No", I thought, "I want to make something of the day." I went into the gas station and bought an ice cream and an energy drink, then decided to head to the lake near town. I took the electric car out into the busy traffic, which is a bit crazy at this time. But since the music inside me had begun, it felt like I was dancing through roundabouts and tricky traffic situations. That timing, which you sometimes get while driving, is pure joy that touches the dancer within me. Anyway, I took the slower and more scenic route to the other end of town, where the main nature park was located, with a parking spot that I knew was perfect.
You get a little lake view, and there's a lovely forest with magnificent, imaginative pines all around, and a few people moving about that you can lazily observe. At the destination, I intentionally moved the car to the perfect spot as carefully as I could, just to get into the right mood. I had eaten the ice cream on the way to the destination. Now, I instead popped in some snus and sipped on the energy drink. There's really nothing to say about my thoughts at that moment. Just that I didn't feel alone and that the whole experience was to slowly exist, contemplate, and listen to the music from the radio while enjoying the poetry of life that's hidden in the lyrics. And it all mixed into my feelings. "My God," I thought, "this is supposed to be a dull and boring day and an occasion to be disappointed with the Swedish summer."
If you're sitting on your butt, bad weather might be that disappointing. Perhaps it's not the best day for sunbathing, but in a car, with a rolled-down window, time stands still. In that enclosed moment, with a slight breeze flowing through the window, you can feel how summer touches your mind and soul, and realize that not much is needed to enjoy even the shades of gray on a summer day.
Then it was time to return to reality and head home to the store. I chose the highway, where you can feel a little speed. I slowly got onto it, and then floored it... The original plan was to get some groceries and top the evening with some cheese, a finer Brie. It'll go into the oven tonight with some honey and walnuts. However, I didn't go straight home, but took a long detour. A detour along a narrow country road in a valley north of the city.
It's a beautiful valley. The magic of slowly driving through the large, rich grain fields whispers something to me in a language I can't put into words, yet I still grasp the meaning. It's as if my inner self is a musical instrument that nature is playing with such grand art that it gives me chills and goosebumps.
All around the countryside, there are pasture lands with meadows where cows watch me calmly and suspiciously as I pass by - passing as gently as I can to really take in this amazing variation, that reached my eyes. In this visual tapestry, something we see here less and less unfortunately, nature truly expresses its artistic sculpturing skill through the interplay with animals and vegetation. These pastures nature paints with a so great creativity and beauty - that it almost hurts.
Further away, over the hill, a new view emerges. Pictoresque old houses that stand there, reminding us how humans have regarded these expanses with tenderness for generations. How it creates a kind of interlude in nature's hymn about the world. Where human toil and creativity create a kind of intimacy with me, the observer. An intimacy, even though I don't know who lives there.
Sometimes I met a car, and since I had time, I always pulled to the side and got a friendly greeting from the driver; A little dance as well, sprinkling feelings within me of affection for life through another person that sort of acknowledges that this is not a dream - very much like pinching myself in the arm.
Close to the end of the detour, there were some horses huddling in the rain, soaked but not suffering. I contemplated all my loved ones who ride and live closely with their horses. How majestic these animals are, and how we've bred them to become a masterpiece, made of mostly sinewy muscles that play beautifully when they move. I also reflected on the historical context behind these strong creatures and how they've aided humans in labor and life throughout time. The art of riding, is about high-level communication. With subtle cues, the rider becomes almost one with the horse, a connection that becomes almost surreal when they have trained together for a long time. Then, in a gentle caprice, I realized how this paralleled with how nature spoke to me, and I felt the connection even more deeply.
My mood darkened a bit as I realized that what nature had written into me with this journey. The writing might be a story, a song, urging me to take action because all of it is threatened. Yes, there are many indications that we are risking all this beauty, as far as I understand from science. It touched me deeply. It was not a song like any other on the radio - it was the desperate last effort of a lover to seduce us, a serenade from a world that is dying.
I wish I was just living in a small bubble, not looking longer than the day in time or the city in space. But I don't. I'm a trained scientist, and I understand what other scientists are talking about. Their genuine worry for the future of our world is not a game. It's real. The possible downsides of our current life may affect millions if not billions of people in a severe way. It's awful how we play russian roulette with the future of our offspring, our children. Taking political steps to counter a climate running amok, combined with our economic system, designed for growth, is a knot that is hard to untie - so hard. It's very telling how many of us shake off these issues and claim that there is not enough proof and there is this and that issue. My point is that it seems there is essentially nothing that can break this juggernaut, but a total destruction; In science we know very well about a certain psychological phenomenon which is one of the reasons to employ scientific methodology - wishful thinking.
Our only choice we assume will work, is to hope for technical development to save us. Being technologically skilled, I see the large number of unknowns that need to happen. In my judgment, we are now more or less mindlessly running towards the future, trying our best. It scares me... If not so many of us forgot this magical communication with nature and instead worshiped asphalt and concrete, perhaps we could turn the tide and improve the odds. The odds for life to continue to amaze us.
When I turned off that road, where only one car fits, the emotions inside me were a combination - a complexity of great joy and worry. Then I headed back home. My son had come home from a long journey. I longed to meet him...