Around 12:30 pm on Monday, October 22 I walk out of the Stockholm Arlanda airport and into the arms of Gabriela and Demian and my new life in Sweden. Fifty-five years living in the States, the last thirty years in Houston, and now I have “Permanent Resident Status” to live with wife and son a bit closer to the Arctic Circle. Of course, I will frequently return to Detroit to see my children Nicholas and Kelsey as well as my new granddaughter Ava, as well as voyaging to the Carolinas to hang with my sister’s family. At the airport we’re all a bit famished so we indulge in hot dogs oozing mayo (oh my) from Steff’s Place,
and then we’re off in a taxi to our home in Nacka, where yes, fall falls. After a drive on highways and city streets, through tunnels and around bends we pull into our street,
note the house number,
then up the drive,
where we have the first floor,
and I have a key.
A general unpacking of my bags occurs, we play a bit, wrestle a bit, laugh quite a bit, then it’s off for a walk around our nearby lake.
Almost two miles around the water and through a forest so when we return home we’re hungry and ready to dine. Gabriela has some potatoes, pork meatballs and elk sausage which I roast in butter with garlic and she adds a green salad with tomatoes and lingonberries. Delicious.
After dinner, the two get ready for a day at school tomorrow, while I lay down and read Tomas Tranströmer’s view of Autumn from “Autumnal Archipelago” first printed in 17 Poems (translation by Robin Fulton).
Here the walker suddenly meets the giant
oak tree, like a petrified elk whose crown is
furlongs wide before the September ocean’s
murky green fortress.
Northern storm. The season when rowanberry
clusters swell. Awake in the darkness, listen:
constellations stamping inside their stalls, high
over the treetops.
Beautiful words I can’t wait to translate as I continue to learn Svenska. In the morning, Gabriela and Demian board bus and train for Stockholm and school, while I drink coffee and then journey around the lake again, this time somehow getting lost and having to rely on GPS to find my way home. Ha!
drink some more coffee and pour a dram of Akvavit,
and work on that stock
I believe the smoked fish head has dissolved. Bon Appétit!