In August 2009 I moved back to Stockholm after having lived in Brussels for more than ten years. This blog describes my fresh impressions from the agreeable landscape surrounding my new apartment in Hammarby Sjöstad, so easy to catch on camera from my kitchen window.
As autumn is approaching, we are experiencing a nice interlude, usually called Indian Summer. Even now, in the second half of September, temperature lies around 20° C in mid-day. This is not the ordinary way of life here, although it now occurs for the second time in a row. You may recall the blog post Aurora's last pink laces from just a year ago, with similar weather conditions.
This rare post-Summer phenomenon is caused by a persisting High on the continent, which is shielding off Sweden from cooler air, encroaching on us from the Atlantic West. Of course, high atmospheric pressure this time of year cannot prevent Stockholm from cooling off considerably after the sun is setting, which it does earlier and earlier in autumn. As a result, day warmth is accompanied by heavy morning fog, which takes a couple of hours for the sun to chase off, for nice weather to re-appear around mid-day.
Fog over Hammarby Sound
Come to think of it, the fog clearing and letting through the sun provides me with a suitable metaphor for considering various conditions in life. Is it not often the case that we fumble around in foggy circumstances, not really knowing what we are doing and where we are heading? And does it not happen, at rare occasions, that uncertainties suddenly dissolve and clarity of insight follows?
This need for clarity of course becomes the more pronounced the more we advance in age. Youth is mainly guided by instinct and drive. Or, to put it otherwise, even a blunt ax can fell a tree, if only applied often and vigorously enough. The exigency for sharpening arises for us old-timers, since pure force and endurance is no longer available.
The back-page of the Financial Times Weekend Edition, my favourite newspaper, comes to mind. Two columnists occupy this place of contemplation. One of them, a vigorous youngster, is ever busy with locating opportunities of improving the world and himself. His column is called The Fast Lane. The other writer, much older and more sedate, is in his column The Slow Lane ever looking and longing for clarity. I have to admit that I find the youngster more stimulating to read, maybe because he let's me re-discover a younger man in myself.
But, however we try and labour, there will come an end to all of us, bringing us ultimate clarity, I trust and hope.