I was born in the evening of the summer solstice in Stockholm, Sweden. The city is too far south for the midnight sun, but June nights are light and lovely there. I have always been happy about the timing of my birth. I'm a Friday's child.
I was long and skinny when I arrived. Later, some chubbiness set in.
We were a small family. My dad had one brother, my mom a brother and a sister. I was the first child, much wanted, much loved, much spoiled, but also much trusted. Their trust in me was the most important gift I received from my parents.
My first memory is of ants. I was fascinated by a structure built by ants.
More than half of Sweden's land area is covered by forests, mostly pine and fir trees. As pine and fir needles drop to the forest floor, ants pick them up and use them to build amazing ant buildings, or stacks as they are called in Sweden.
During my first year or two, my parents rented a small cottage on an island in the Stockholm archipelago where we spent our summers. I don't think we owned a boat in those early days.
But there were happy times as well. By the time, my brother arrived in the spring of 1943, we needed a larger home. My parents bought a house in a lovely street, where the homes were built at the tail end of the city of Stockholm's first suburb, Enskede. Some day, I hope to tell the story of this suburb, as its history and how it came to be is quite interesting.
My brother and I enjoying our very own green grass at our brand new house. I know my parents must have been so happy.