I’ve been on vacation in Sweden for about a week now. I’m flying back to Ireland later this afternoon. It’s been good, but it’s gotten to the point where I’m looking forward to going home.
I met up with my mother and father, and I met most of the friends that matter.
Ireland is great and all, but the forests around where I live leave a lot to be desired. They’re just not the same as the ones back home. Fortunately, I had some great opportunities to get out and about and wander among the trees.
I’ve probably mentioned it in the past, but it bears repeating: I’m a forest person. There’s something special about walking among the trees that I don’t quite get anywhere else.
The hills back in Ireland provide stunning views and magnificent scenery. There’s a grander scale to the landscape when you can see so much further.
Often, in a forest you don’t get that in the same way. You usually don’t see that far, but there’s still a sense of greatness. Now and then you can climb a hill and be able to look out over a forest that stretches towards the horizon. You get a glimpse of how large the forest can be and for a moment you get a sense of perspective.
The forest isn’t visible, but you know it’s there, you just can’t see it for all the trees. You get a view of what’s near you, and you get a feel for the rest of it through glimpses and imagination.
I think that this may be a hint to why I like it so much. It tickles my imagination in just the right way. It gets my thoughts running and the ideas flowing.
The forest also makes me feel safe and comfortable in a way I rarely do in other places. It’s probably related to how I’ve spent so much time there. I grew up right next to a forest, and my family was very active in the sport of orienteering. We traveled all over Sweden to take part in competitions and events, and I’ve seen most of what the country has to offer as far as forests go.
By far, my favourite kind is the one showing here in these pictures, where pines and firs stand tall and straight, and where the land buckles and twists into hills and ravines.
It’s been great, but it’ll be good to get home again too.