Gratitude and the First Snow

I’m having a bit of a difficult time at the moment. I feel disconnected, isolated, not really present. It’s hard to see all the wonders around me and to acknowledge how far I’ve come. In these instances it’s good to take a step back and look at where we are. So let’s do that.

I took this picture last year in Halmstad when there was the first snow. I was out early in the morning and the paths in the forests were still untouched. I stood there, looking at the sun peaking through the trees and thought: I would like to be in Sweden again next year and I would like to walk through a forest when it first snows. This, I have been blessed with today. 


It put me in a place of reflection, it made me consider my life and what I’m doing with my time. This week has been one of searching for meaning. I’m not at the end with these observations but we’re getting there.

I wrote down what the most important things are to me, the values which make me do the things I do: First of all, it’s Love. Love for life, for nature, for art and it’s also happiness.

I know this is not the best of photos. But it has a huge meaning to me. I took it after our choir rehearsal this week. I have always had a difficult time being a good member of this choir because I didn’t understand everything they said and I myself didn’t have enough words to say what I wanted. But in a conversation with a friend there, she told me “Ta det lugnt”- take it slow. It will be fine eventually. Until then I will just keep going with what I love and what makes me happy: singing. Also, the fact that I could utter my feelings in a way she understood is probably an indicator that my Swedish isn’t as bad as I sometimes think it is.

The second one is Balance. I feel really out of sync at the moment so I try to do things that get me on track again: reading actual physical copies of books (not hunching over my laptop with the website of Elsevier or Springer open trying to decipher articles about mining wastes), it’s meditation and it’s long walks.

One idea to find balance is also to meet up with people and just talk or have a tea somewhere. Many horrible mornings have been improved radically by this… We found this cute little café in Falun this week. Isn’t it just adorable? And it looks so calm and inviting. 

The third motivation for me is Learning. I love to learn, I love to study and explore new things. I love to widen my horizon.

We had an excursion to the Falun mines this week. It was quite impressive and also terrifying what we have done to nature here for centuries. I learned a lot about minerals and the environmental impact of such mining activities. It gave me so many new insights.

All this learning leads to a fourth aspect: Change. I don’t like being stuck in one place for too long, mentally or physically. I have moved around quite a lot in the last year (Halmstad, Berlin, Münster, Cottbus, now Uppsala. It’s been a journey) and as I know myself, I will keep doing that in the future as well. But psychological change is also really important to me since it improves my life step by step.

Within four weeks the leaves changed their colours, fell down, and were coated with a frosty layer of snow. Time goes so fast. And this little guy that I made this morning will probably have melted already. Change is what drives our lives and what makes it interesting.

I’m grateful for being here. I’m grateful to be able to live this life and to be in such a beautiful country right now with so many talented, amazing people around. And I’m grateful for the time I’m being given- time to write, time to be with friends, time to sing and laugh and walk through the forest, time to learn. Time is so valuable and we should use it the best we can.