This morning I was thinking about how years ago I was able to visit different places in the world. My memory proves hazy as I try to remember the plants, the smells, the sights, the people, the food, the sounds and how I felt about all of it. Why have I not kept a journal? Imagine the endless interesting stories I’d be able to tell from just the past eleven years living in Europe. Some places seemed so fairy tale-like in its nature and existence. Especially places I have seen in Sweden. Even if I were to go back, I doubt I would be able to find those places again. I wish I had taken more pictures! I wish I had the eyes I have now, back then.
I am not one who dwells on regrets. I normally will be the first to say I do not have any because life is what it is and we are who we are at that time and regretting past choices does not change anything.
But today it is nagging me.
I am slowly forgetting. If I were to try to recall those places and memories, it would be more fictional than fact. Memory is not always reliable.
As a writer, I love stories. Reading them, telling them, listening to them; it opens a different sphere to this world that I find exciting to visit before having to come back to reality.
Almost eleven years ago I was living with my grandmother in Sweden. That summer she had booked a trip for me and my cousin, Esther, to go to the north of Sweden. We travelled by bus from Jonkoping to Stockholm and from Stockholm we took a train north. I don’t recall exact times but it was about 24 hours of travelling. Once up north we met her sister and stayed with her a few days. We also travelled even farther to visit my mom’s cousin. We also went to the little village, there was a school, a kiosk and a post office, my grandmother grew up. Although it was in Sweden, they spoke mostly Finnish as it was very near the border. Her brother still lived in the small house where she grew up. We drank a lot of blueberry juice.
Being so far north was magical. The sun never set. Roads never ended. The horizon and sky felt close enough to touch, but obviously we couldn’t!
One of my grandmother’s friend’s house was a long drive out in a remote area. We passed countless of miles of forest and a few houses with peculiar handmade fences. Their gardens were immaculate and beautiful. When we got to the friend’s house, we walked uphill on a paved walkway of different shapes and it felt like I was walking through a massive garden of flowers. The interior of the house was very traditionally Swedish and everything seemed to be handmade. We drank a berry tea.
There are so many gaps I wish was filled with the writings of a journal or an album of photos. I am longing for more.
How important is it really? Why should I care so much? Because it is all family history. We are their future. She was my grandmother, our worlds so vastly different and yet her and I were very much alike.
Now I have two little boys and am experiencing all sorts as a mother. A journal needs kept because these are the moments I never want to fade out of my mind.
The memories and stories of my children are priceless beyond measure. I never want to regret not having one for them. No regrets, but lesson learned.