Today I took a beautiful and inspiring walk in the sunshine. We have only lived on this wonderful peninsula for a few weeks, and so haven’t walked my usual route very many times, so today when I walked it going in the opposite direction I found myself a little unsure of which way to walk. There was no real danger of getting horribly lost, but the path isn’t always clear and I could have found myself in someone’s garden. It’s no big deal but it did inspire some thoughts.
I speak Swedish about 50% of the time, and so usually think in English, but on this occasion the Swedish expression “Jag känner inte igen mig” popped into my head. This literally means “I don’t recognise myself” but really means ”I don’t know where I am”.
It seemed such an apt thing to think about on that walk. The thought that when we change direction – even for a short while – we gain a new perspective on life and on ourselves. Like when we go on holiday and one can view ourselves from outside of the usual auto-pilot routine. Suddenly we can see with different eyes and think “Woah- what am I doing? This isn’t me” or “Wow, look at what I am doing, my life is better than I thought. I am impressed that I live a life that differs positively from my past!”.
Changing the direction of my path that day meant that the ups became downs and the down became ups. New beauty spots where found, and the walk became more challenging and interesting. And I fell in love again with my surroundings.
My life has changed pretty radically in the past few weeks – going from living in a cramped rental apartment with an annoying and fussy landlord and thin walls, all nestled under a flight path, to a large house with a garden and just the woodpeckers to break the silence. Also going from the Swedish winter to the spring means that I can shed a layer of clothes, feel the sun on my face, and work in our new garden. Suddenly I feel that I don’t recognise myself or know where I am. But it’s new and exciting and the path I have been longing for. Even though it can feel like a new pair of shoes that need to be worn in and made to feel like me.