August 18th, 2005



All those crappy crap days are worth it when Sweden pulls out all the stops like she did today. I think of Sweden as a 'she' probably because her name is Svea, at least that's what I call her (she calls me Lis, or sometimes Elisabet, whistling the s between her teeth. Swedes always seem to soften z sounds, it's so cute). How does a people decide whether the land that birthed and nurtured them is a motherland or a fatherland? Or is it just different for each individual? Or for each sex?

I never really thought about this before, at least not that thoroughly. When I think of America, I think of a woman, Lady Liberty I suppose, in her flowing robes and spiky headdress. I never see Uncle Sam as the real personality of America, he's more like her bodyguard,...or her abusive boyfriend. Although lately, as bezigebij suggests, he seems to have gotten the upper hand.

We live in farmland, rolling hills covered with squared off fields. Around here there is a lot of grass grown for hay, sugarbeets, peas and rapeseed. Today hay harvesting time kicked into gear as every field for miles around suddenly got a shave and a haycut (hee!) and traded their flowing, waving tresses for blocks and eggs and wheels of hay. The smell of freshly cut hay wafts in on the breeze, and the sun is still shining clear in a duskering sky. An evening drive garnered me the following lovely sights:
  • 2 silk-brown shining horses, standing push-me, pull-you head-to-tail. They looked as if they were in love, the kind of love that lets you lean on each other.

  • Stalky-legged storks, gangly and pointy, standing white against the stubble of a hayfield.

  • An orderly orchard of twisty gruntled trees laden with apples...or rubies; it was hard to tell, they were glowing so.

  • A yellow field polka-dotted with black birds, and later, a green field polka-dotted with white ones.*

  • An ultralight low enough to see the smile of the man sitting in it, and FOUR hot air balloons floating over the vale, one of them shaped like a big pointy-rayed sun.

The kind of back-lit summer evening that makes you think of childhood and grandparents and jumping off docks to splash around in the water with your cousins, knowing that school is just around the corner and happy because you've got shiny new school supplies and a brand-new bookbag, but it's not here yet, oh no, it's not here yet. The sun sets, and setting, seeps a shining star or two.

*Jackdaws and crows in the first, seagulls in the second.