Sometimes I question why I live in Sweden. Half the year, the sun barely makes it over the horizon, and when it does it’s like it’s still having trouble finding out how to actually warm something up. I love winter, sometimes I just think about my friend in France who can live close to the alps and close to the snow while still not having that dark season.
Then I remember the hidden days. You might have heard about the midnight sun. In the north of Sweden the sun doesn’t set at all in the middle of summer, it just sinks down to touch the horizon until it rises again. It’s not that extreme where I live, but still. I mostly think about it when travelling, when I see places where it’s not like that. And then I realize how much it’s worth to me, that extra amount of day you get when the sun diminishes the night into nothing. The hidden days, hiding after what would be sunset in the wintertime, but now is laid open for us, free to invade with late walks, midnight swimming and laughter while looking for berries and inhaling the fresh forest air.
There’s a bittersweetness about the swedish summer that used to make my teenage heart uneasy, longing instead for more exotic adventures and freedom from family, but I realize that I was falling for it during all that time. Falling in love with the hidden days, so fleeting in their passing and so easily broken by winter, but smelling like grass and wild strawberries and oh so sweet childhood memories. They’ve nestled into my heart together with the people I used to experience them with and now they’ll always be home to me.