~Friday, Day 6~
Being stuck in the house with Hunter’s illness and again waiting for the repairman, during the first week of the trip, helped me realize something very real and human: If I kept hiding behind my overwhelm and ignorance, I would spend many more days in a deepening isolation. It is one thing, completely, to choose silent hours and days alone for the sake of prayer, contemplation, writing, reading or exploration, but it is quite another to hole up because of ignorance. And ignorance is often a state we call comfort. It is also true that I felt as if I were an intruder in this wonderful little village and that the folks here might not consider knowing me as much of an adventure as I felt knowing them might be. But how was I to know if this feeling was true without using the best advice I have ever received: ask, seek and knock?
We dallied a bit around the tourist office on the surrounding deck overlooking the sea and a little marina. The rank seaweed deposits in murky mud, pounded by waves enough to stir up the stink all the more, kept us from hanging about all day. Hunter had a good run from one end of the deck to the other and back several times, and I was able to find a toalett (WC, restroom, etc) to ease my discomfort from walking.
We walked back toward town, proud to have walked all the way to the tourist bureau and across the scary highway. We decided that a trip to the little grocery store and another to the bakery would be another fun part of our walk and for a more tasty lunch.
When we entered the bakery, I fessed up that we were in Hollviken for a prolonged stay. That my name was Juliene and this was Hunter to whom the bakery has become a favorite place in town. Maria, on the other side of the counter, told us about her son in
Another woman entered the room during this exchange. She was probably in her later 60’s and wore bright orange lipstick on her large, sagging pink lips. Otherwise her clothes were classy and she seemed interested in us since she’d seen us also at the grocery store (which the locals call the Konsum). She asked how old Hunter was and said she had a grandson his age. Both she and Maria mentioned how important it would be to play with other children.
I agreed wholeheartedly. For some strange reason we decided not to exchange phone numbers because we figured we’d meet up again, since we’d just followed each other from the Konsum to the Bakery. I’ve never seen that woman again.
Furthermore, I called the church in Hollviken to get an appointment regarding the church pre-school. Christina and I had an appointment the following Monday, and, yes, there was room for Hunter.
Hunter asked a million questions about the possibility of school and kept begging me to find friends. He asked if it was Sunday, yet, so he could play with David. He would ask if it was time to go back to
The thought of riding a real train the next day soon diverted his attention away from his friends and his grandparents.