The first time I met myself was a few years ago. Once again this Easter, after a  day of travelling, I arrived at last at the houses in the midst of the forest. And there I was! As if I’d never been away! A disconcerting sensation, a time-shifting eclipse. As if my conscious self in the UK had been switched off, just as the awareness of my Swedish self powered on.

It was as if I’d walked this gravel road every day, not just for the two weeks over Easter. One spectacular afternoon I witnessed the sun searing through the trees.

The forest itself proved startlingly alive, alluring; the air brimming with oxygen, the colours clear and vibrant. Certain events, unknown to my Swedish self, reminded me that I had not been there after all. When did the big fir tree topple down? Or rather break away as a neighbour later pointed out, the top half cracking away from the main trunk, to land neatly in the birch copse. 

By the coast the combination of sea, sky and rocks struck me anew, the views intoxicating, like a punch of joy to my heart. My other self had let me down, let me forget this body blow of beauty.

The blues all around were broken up by the array of colours of the rocks, the stark trees, the dainty flowers growing in the granite cracks.

Here and there people had contributed to the enjoyment with a sense of fun creating a child’s seat set amongst the rocks.

The two weeks were filled with overwhelming joy, laughter, conversation. Where walks transformed into meditations, where books became all-consuming, where thoughts sought and found clarity in the vastness of nature.

How could life be anything but this?

Yet I return home … my other home, to my other self. Yet the one in Sweden clings on to my spirit, not quite ready to release me from its hold, my soul swooping amongst the trees, across the waters.

I am here, yet there. I’ll never forget standing on the deck on Good Friday, gazing at the full moon in all-consuming awe of epiphany. The pink aura transported across space to minuscule us! The magic of the cosmos captured in a finite second. There am I, part of the wilderness, here am I, longing to return.

“We carry our homes within us, which enables us to fly.” John Cage

134 thoughts on “PARALLEL LIVES

  1. I want to travel Sweden some day. So far, I have only been to Osterhaninge to see friends, and in Nykoping while waiting for my Ryan Air flight 🙂 Stockholm is a beauty! I very well understand everything about the ‘other self’.

    1. Insese, I am so sorry as I thought I’d replied to your lovely comment.

      First, I had to smile as you mention Ryanair! Oh, a necessary evil when travelling to Sweden. Once landed and off the planes all is forgiven. Stockholm is wonderful and I spent my honeymoon there – a pure delight!

      The ‘other self’ phenomen is a both liberating and disconcerting experience … when have you come across this? It seems to be a mattter of accepting its gifts.

      1. I came from a family who were the runaways. We all had sort of a double identity 🙂 No mother tongue for me; my name had been changed – so was my birthday date. My ‘other self’ has been stuck in the 1960, a favorite part of my life 🙂 It is disconcerting, but it makes me feel a citizen of Earth, no strings attached, no prejudices, no nonsense 🙂

        1. Inese, I was floored reading your comment – you truly have lived and are living parallel lives, whilst the rest of us ‘play’ at this. I can’t imagine a life of being a ‘runaway’. It must indescribable, yet your positive spirit shines as you recognise yourself as ‘a citizen of Earth, no strings attached, no prejudices, no nonsense.’ Take care, my friend. hugs xx😀

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