I like walks. And I have never been able to be in a room full of loud and chattering people, without feeling uncomfortable and wanting to just walk away. And I have done that. I have walked my own ways. But I’m a lone walker. And I’m not happy about it. But I can walk every lonely person’s silent path. And everyone is lonely at times.
However, my right foot has the last years caused me such pains I sometimes barely been able to go across the floor at home, much less have I been able to take longer walks at countryside as I did before.
But recently these pains left my foot – just like that! And now I will try to take a walk again – to ease my mind from the burdens of all my other body pains and the depression following them like a faithful dog. Walk, like I used to do – to sort the thoughts, keep my inner balance. Add greenery into my mind’s eye.
And I start softly walk to the nature area nearby my home. It’s a lovely sunny spring day. I see coltsfoot has begun to flower and so have gagea. It makes me happy to see.
As my foot keep calm, I decides to walk further and farther and I take a trail through a nearby wooded area to get to a meadow I know of. While walking everything around me in nature tells me summer comes soon again, with all its beauty. It makes me sad to think about – it always does every year. Because I’m really off life and especially summer life, with all what the concept “summer” means to a Scandinavian person – love, connections with people and togetherness, travels, joy, celebrations, new and pleasing experiences, yes – “everything”!
Then strikes me the thought – if you believe in a God, maybe you’re able to rejoice the life you got, instead of depressing yourself over it (as I do), only to become bleak? Because you think of all those lives that you have not been given or has not been able to live? Because you just got this poor, embarrassing shit life you now live? Only sorrows, pains, loneliness and shame over it – yes, what a life to live!
I leave the grove behind and cross the meadow to reach a little hill and the foundation stones there after a small soldier cottage. A few violets already blooms at the sunny south side of the hill below the small ruin. It’s the first I see, and next I discover that last year’s leaves have become to soil on the stair stones and I kicks away the soil with the toe of the shoe to clean up and to expose the stones – I don’t want to see them buried under soil and grass and disappear into oblivion.
I often come here in the spring. I like places like this. People once lived here, people once cried here, people once smiled here, people once died here. And I comes here occasionally and remember those unknown people and their humble lives and what’s left of it. I grew up like this, among simple people in rural areas.
Ruins of small cottages and remains of old gardens are not uncommon at the Swedish countryside. There you still can see lilac bushes, some stray flowers, cherry trees and always these now gnarled and mossy apple trees that still blooms each spring to later give now small fruits, but sometimes still edible. These residues tells me those poor people, though rugged, often edgy and always hardworking, not only cultivated what was useful to the household like vegetables and root crops. They also wanted beauty and fragrance in their gardens, like from the romantic lilacs – willingly and easily given and taken. Like a smile.
I thinks when I comes to places like this one and see the violets or the lilacs blooms – people need the unnecessary, like beauty, fragrances and love and also our dreams about it. I have from this perspective come to believe that not only the lilacs, but every born is a needed one. The seemingly superfluous gives these seemingly useful people their degree of humanity and purposes of life. So in a deeper sense everybody are contributors, belonging to same living body.
I have walked in a circle to come to this place and I will take a short cut home over the highway, which blinded and unwittingly roars on the north side of the hill.
I prefer to let wildflowers be there they grow, but yet – this day I pick a few violets and gagea before I go. While I pick the flowers those brooding thoughts comes back again – if I only could appreciate the life I have been given, instead of mourn over all those “productive and fulfilling lives” I have not lived! It’s too easy to be ruled by the hormones in a dysfunctional brain – as I am! And it’s so hard not to judge the life I lived and live, but to honour the life I got. That it should be so hard to be happy! My convictions are cleverly grounded, but my emotions flies for the least breath of wind, north or south.
I chase away those perpetual thoughts and cover the flowers in a paper tissue and put them in my pocket. Then I climbs the ladder stile at north side hill and cross the highway and soon I’m home. I forget the timid little bouquet of spring flowers in my jacket pocket. When I remember them and put them in water, they are already half dead. But they recovers. And in spite the day’s exercise, my right foot is still pain free. But I still loathe my life. (Well – good days only partly, but whatever!)
People seems to feel obliged or tempted to end posts similar this one, by giving some “encouraging” and comforting words to the prospective reader. Why? I have no advice for anyone. I just tells about a walk with my right foot. And it is what it is. There is no cure. But there are methods in life.
For most people, exercise is good. But for me it’s a double-edged sword. Every strain has its cost. I’ve been writing and I’ve been walking now as if I am fully fit and the day after tomorrow I will pay the price in overpowering pains. There is no space for me to deal with human affairs. I don’t think you have fully understood that. And I have to leave you now.
And I listen once again to Andrea Bocelli singing “Con te partirò”. It’s what I have done the last period of increased pains – listened for days and hours on end to Bocelli singing – and if someone can sing as he can and I can listen to his song and find relief and joy in it, then life cannot be completely pitch black. There is beauty in it and it is reachable.