June 18th, 2006



Today I went to Hell and back—took my daughter and grandson too! Not at all what you would expect! We had our choice of which color hell* (red, fuschia, pink, even white) we wanted to hide in, or more likely...to get lost in. It is actually a very lovely place, beautiful fragrances, colorful, cool—(since it is hidden from the sun when you're in it), and an almost magical place.

If you looked closely, with softened eyes, you could see fairies, too! It was a fanciful place, complete with an ear to the ground listening for our words and thoughts, a red face whose lips and chin sat nearby on the ground...the eyes watching the goings on of all who dared to come near, especially the soaring birds overhead! There was also a huge bench made of black, shiny stone, one that would fit the giant of beanstalk fame. Not too far away, was a castle carved into the huge stump of a long ago tree, still awaiting the return of the children who had made this place their home. Following steps up hillsides and down into ravines, all leading to nowhere and everywhere, there were hells all around us, above us and below us, as we traced their paths and roots through the tangles along the creek that flowed past the ferns and food of pandas, only needing a paper boat to complete the picture. As we neared the beach, a totem soared skyward, reaching towards the ancestors of its faraway ocean tribe. Huge ships, working boats and a sailboat drifted slowly past our eyes, while the haze half hid the castle of an ancient enemy across the way.

I know I hear the shouts...Drugs! Alcohol! Dreams! Just plain crazy! But NO!...I have brought you (photos for proof of our traipsings!)

More info about Sofiero Castle & Gardens (in Swedish)

*a traditional term for a rhododendron thicket