Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Höst | Fall

While summer ended abruptly over two months ago, the fall has taken its time. The leaves turned from green to bright yellow, fading into the warm oranges and reds before making their descent to the Earth. There is something to be said about the beauty of this transition, as if mother nature is shedding her summer accessories, returning to her roots in preparation of the upcoming winter. Despite some rainy days, October has brought a crisp autumn air. The freshness fills your lungs as leaves crackle beneath your step. It is truly magical.

Nature is everywhere in Sweden. Through most of the wooded areas near me, you can find walking paths and bike trails, frequented by the locals on weekends and students en route to or from school. Others find the path-less-taken in search of wild berries or edible mushrooms. The only animals are leashed dogs, although I not-so-secretly hope to be met by a wandering moose.

With the days getting shorter and shorter, the sunshine has become more and more valuable. Despite the brisk weather, sunny days are utilized to their maximum potential by bundling up with a cosy sweater and scarf and sipping on your favorite warm beverage. With no coffee-franchizes in the area, my town is naive of the pumpkin-flavored-everything that has swept the USA by storm. Local "fika" breaks are set with strong black coffee and a pastry, nothing that isn't available every other day.

Like most American-celebrated holidays, Halloween is overlooked by most. I encountered less than 7 trick-or-treaters this year, three of which came on November 1st. Instead, Sweden observes All Saint's Day, where they visit the graves of lost family and friends, honoring their life by adorning their plot with flowers and lit candles. For a girl raised in America, I was conflicted, unsure of how to feel about this new idea of Halloween. Celebrating life of family and friends is a beautiful idea, and one that I plan to adopt; however, I cannot shake my nerves when passing a candle-lit cemetery on October 31st. I've watched ABC Family's 13 Nights of Halloween. I know how these things end.

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