Thursday, June 21

Day 173: The Coming of Summer and Earth Men

It's the warmest day of the year so far at a whopping 73 degrees Fahrenheit. The sun is shining brightly and the sky is scattered with big, puffy, white clouds. We are on the bus heading into downtown Gothenburg to have a latte and hopefully a tasty snack at our favorite cafe, da Mateo, before picking up the remaining ingredients for our midsummer lunch tomorrow.

So far today I have baked a cardamom, pear cake and my husband has made vegetarian, (eggplant) pickled herring. All part of our midsummer lunch and festivities tomorrow at Tjörn. If you were wondering, the answer is yes, we are going on a Tjörney tomorrow.

I so look forward to feeling all of my stresses melt away once we cross the bridge to the island [of Tjörn]. It's like magic how it happens, almost like crossing into a parallel universe, where my alternate self lives in the Swedish countryside. I immediately feel more relaxed. Perhaps it is the salt air from the ocean or maybe the wild heather that grows in and around the rocky cliffs. I'm not entirely sure but it is a special feeling that is difficult to describe without experiencing it first hand.

So, off we go to Tjörn tomorrow to celebrate midsummer and the longest day of the year. And even though summer really begins in Sweden after tomorrow, it is somewhat bittersweet to think that the days will gradually become shorter from this point until the winter solstice in December. But that thought is for another day. Today I celebrate the coming of summer, the longest day of the year and eating jordgubbar (it means strawberries in English and literally translates to "earth men" in Swedish) while dancing and hopping like a frog around the midsummer pole. Crazy, I know.

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