Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January Thoughts

Yesterday, purple, pink, yellow and apricot striped the Southwestern horizon, dotted with pilia trees, boxy Swedish houses and, moments before sunset, a vee of crying swan. We’re back after a lovely two month holiday at home in snowy Idaho—but only for three weeks in January.

I thought it would be dark and dreary. But the rainy days are less frequent than I expected and I notice the few minutes increase in light every day. Flocks of swan and geese fly over our little rental with sky-loft windows twice per day. I love the sound and sight of them.

The sheep I wrote about when we were here last time have been moved to a different field or turned into cutlets, chops and crowns. We were disappointed the sheep were gone, but we’ve been too busy to worry about it. Busy playing, that is.

Some friends brought over a Lego set that has occupied Hunter’s every spare moment home. Then, our friends from Finland met us in Stockholm and brought Hunter a belated birthday gift of a set of hot wheels. We’re going to the church play days twice weekly, the swimming pool once weekly and Hunter spends time at the “Drop ‘n’ Shop in Höllviken when I need to get groceries, meet a friend for coffee, do laundry, go for a walk, read a book or possibly write.

We found out, this week, that Phil is needed on-hand for another extended period: mid March to mid June. After enjoying a goodly amount of time with family and friends back home over Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is a bit frightening to think of being gone a longer while, again. I have no idea why, really.

Poor Hunter, he will have missed more pre-school than attended it, but he doesn’t seem to be suffering as much as I feared—ah, who needs to spend pre-school years in school, anyway. So much of life afterward is spent in school. It’s me—I have trouble getting any writing done when I’m making sure Hunter is getting enough mental stimuli.

Onto a different topic.

In the years to come, when people remember their past observations of history, I’ll recall seeing the inauguration of the 44th president from St. Lucia’s Pizza in Höllviken, Sweden. After the solo, prayer, and Aaron Copeland overture (at least I believe that was what it was), which were overwhelmed by the overhead soft rock radio, the women at the table next to us requested that the radio be turned off and the television turned up so we could hear the swearing in and speech. They fell to talking too loudly by the middle of the speech. We went home and watched the Prince Caspian movie, which juxtaposed weirdly with the inauguration.

There was so much HOPE in the crowd. It makes me nervous to put my hopes in one human or government, but it was good to see some hope. Let’s hope, while we’re hoping, that we all really do take to heart and hand President Obama’s admonition that we get to the hard work of recovery. We shall see. We shall see.

“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5).