Out of Darkness

I caught the 6:20 AM ferry to Vaxholm this morning. The light was good and I had wanted to go back to do some more photography. I almost start to think that like families, all beauty is alike around here. But not really. Today there has been a little hint of ice in the wind that’s blowing from the North. The subtle but relentless shift into Fall and Winter is undeniable. But it was easy in the light to ignore all that. I have noticed over and over again, the outdoor living spaces around here. Any space with sunshine becomes a space to claim as home, at least for a while, and I am moved by the little details that celebrate the sunshine.





Sometimes, it seems like the space ends up having to get shared with at least a little chaos. One neighbor has a small green house where she has put an easy chair, and a table and then filled it with flowers. Maybe this is a brave attempt to claim the sun as early as possible in the year, as long as possible come autumns, and from the moment the first rays reach out at dawn.


I sat at a little coffee shop in Vaxholm this morning, having a cappuccino and thinking about these spaces. I have never spent a winter in Sweden. The longest, darkest one I ever experienced was in Virginia–mild in comparison. However, it wasn’t just the darkness outside–I was clinically depressed, borderline suicidal that year, struggling with the disappointment of what had not happened by moving to the USA, needing to make a change but not knowing why or how. The relief I felt when spring arrived, when the decisions were made, for better and worse, is indescribable.

Perhaps when you have moved out of the darkness into spring and summer, when the light has found you and you have found the light, you build your house there. You want to have close to you all the beautiful things that you couldn’t see before. You don’t care how small the space. You eat and drink and laugh and live. And ignore that hint of ice blowing in the soft summer breezes for as long as possible.

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