Tonight I sit in my apartment in Brooklyn after a long day of work. This time last year I was in a small cabin on the beach in Sweden. It was midsummer (midsommar), the annual celebration of the longest day of the year. The sun set around 11pm and it was still cool enough to require a light jacket at night. I was just a few weeks away from moving home where I would be without a job (or plan). And yet, I was calm. I gathered wild flowers with my host children in the morning and watched with childlike joy as my host mother turned the flowers into crowns, trying to understand the steps so that I could recreate it again someday. Life was simple. There is a concept in Denmark called hygge which is all about slow living, coziness, and togetherness. While it is a Danish thing, not Swedish, whenever I think back on my time in Sweden hygge always comes to mind. Maybe it's all the baked goods I consumed on a daily basis, or the fact that when you're from a giant country like the USA everything in Sweden seems quaint, or perhaps it was because I got paid to hang out with cute kids... whatever reason, memories of Sweden always scream hygge to me.
I will be commuting to work on the train tomorrow, hoping for a seat and accepting being just a little bit too close to the person next to me. Somewhere in the world, people will make flower crowns in their summer cabins. Next year I could be here, or there, or anywhere. The world is such a big place! x