Thursday, January 19

Day 19: Morning Walk

This morning I walked out of my apartment and the sky was a deep, cobalt blue, slowly becoming lighter as the sun crept up. I began making my way to the subway for my morning commute and when I reached the corner where I normally would turn to go to the subway station, I decided on a whim to walk to work. My boss has been walking to work the past week or so and he lives further away than I do so I thought, “Why not?” It was a really gorgeous start to the day and I figured it would be good to be above ground instead of taking the underground route. Then I looked at my watch. I was not sure how long it would take but I figured at least forty-five minutes and I didn’t really have the luxury of taking a forty-five minute commute. There was a bus stop ahead and just my luck, a bus was about to turn onto the street where I was walking. I decided to take the bus down to Långholmsgatan, just before the bridge to Kungsholmen and I would walk from there.

I am always amazed at how many people are out walking or riding their bikes here, even in the winter. I looked around me as I approached the bridge. Many people were walking to work. There was hardly any wind blowing, which is excellent for crossing this particular bridge. I began my climb. The bridge crosses the island of Långholmen before it stretches over Lake Malaren. Långholmen is the home of an old prison that closed down in 1975 and has since been converted into a hotel. Guests sleep in old prison cells complete with bunk beds. They’ve decorated it to resemble a prison and it is actually quite fun to stay there. Carl’s sisters have both visited us in Stockholm and were “imprisoned” there during their stay.

I looked down as I passed over the island and saw many people milling about below in the park. Some were walking dogs and others were jogging or hiking. All of the trees were bare and I could see Stockholm’s City Hall across the water through the trees. I just love the simple, harsh beauty of winter. As I reached the top of the bridge I noticed several people were taking photos of the area behind me. I turned to look and saw the most beautiful sunrise coming up over Södermalm. The double steeples of Högdalid Church were in silhouette and the sun was just beginning to crest. The horizon glowed a rich orange that faded skyward and turned into the deep, cobalt blue I had seen when I left my apartment this morning.

I don’t know how often I will walk to work but I have to admit it was a wonderful start to the day. My mind was clear and my soul was heavy with images of the beautiful city in which I live. Maybe one morning I will leave with enough time to walk the entire distance.

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