Friday, April 13, 2012

M is for Midsummer

Theme ~ Swedish Rhapsody

On Midsummer's Eve, it is said that if a young girl picks seven different kinds of wildflowers and puts them under her pillow, she will dream of the boy she will marry. Last time I was in Sweden on Midsummer's Eve, I decided to pick a bouquet for myself. 

Wild strawberries grow by the guesthouse steps.

I have friends and family in Sweden. Christina and I lived together in Princeton when we were young (we didn't go to the University, but we lived in town). I met Christina's sister, Inga, at the same time and we have been friends since then. A friendship that is fast approaching the 50-year mark! When I go to Sweden, I stay with Inga in the City and I stay with both of them here, at their lovely summer home. 

A meadow in midsummer glory. Just imagine the birdsong.

I tried to capture a bumble bee, can't see it now though.

The guesthouse where I stayed. My friends work very hard every year to get their garden this beautiful. There are plenty of vegetables mixed in with the gorgeous flowers.

The traditional colors of country houses: Red with white corners and window frames. 

The red color originally came from the copper mines in Falun and is called Falu-red to this day. My friends' house, to the right, stems from the 1700s; the house to the left is newer, but looks much the same. I stood under a birch tree, another Swedish symbol, and took this picture, but I had no idea I would like it so much. For me, it truly represents midsummer in Sweden.

Stockholm is too far south for the midnight sun. This is how it looks at night. I got confused because of daylight savings time when I was there last, but I know that when I was young, the sun would shine at two in the morning and the birds would go crazy with song.

And, yes, people do dance around the Maypole on Midsummer's Eve, to the sound of harmonicas and fiddles. I hope you enjoyed this Midsummer trip to the Swedish countryside. 

I was writing this midsummer post during the worst snow storm we've had all year. It snowed and stormed all day. It will soon melt and create a muddy mess.


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