Aug 4, 2013

Taking pride in little dreams fulfilled

I have all these dreams. For myself. And for my place here at the end of the road. In May, under the title “You always have a choice. They say/part 2”, I was listing 77 of them. Yes 77. Everything from “pick something up from the floor - buy the Smith Tower. To “go to the movies - dig a lake or two”.

I don’t have a problem finding 77 dreams, big and small, utopias and maybe-a-possibility-at-some-point. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged about everything I want and want to do that can’t happen. And hard to see that I, in spite of everything, circumstances and challenges, have managed to accomplish and fulfill some small things that used to be on my long list before it was narrowed down to only 77.

In the seventies my mother planted a couple of lupines in front of the cute outhouse, where the barn used to be. Over the years they have spread to a June-beautiful sea of white, pink, scarlet and different shades of blue. The place has felt kind of flat though. I wanted to add something to give it some height. Also, I felt like it needed some centerpiece.

I had spotted a big rock in the grove between my place and Alida’s. Dark grey, like a stranded baby elephant. Everyone told me it was too big to move. Well, if you say so… I laid my eyes on a smaller one for a different location and asked Sören to bring his tractor. He did. But even though it was way too small for my needs it was quite enough for Sören’s tractor, and it took a while to get it into his bucket and put it in the right place, just in front of the lupines. Nice!

Should I give up on the baby elephant?  That’s what everyone told me to. But, what about Jonas? Jonas and Sören are the two farmers in my village. It turned out that Jonas was more heavily equipped than Sören, and yes, he could probably do it! Watching him wake the elephant up and let if fall asleep again in the middle of mother’s sea of lupines was a spectacle! And my feeling had been right, that was exactly what was needed and the hidden elephant of the woods was given a new life. And ha, it could be done! Don’t ever tell me what’s possible and not! I literary felt like I could move mountains!

I love the traditional American Aaron Deck Chair. Summer -07 while in Seattle, I saw a picture of four chairs in four shades of yellow, green, blue and red, one color per chair. So Seattle! So fun! I love how playful art and crafts are in Seattle! And the idea of doing something similar back home was firmly planted in me.

Summer -09, the chemo summer, I bought a deck chair at one of those low cost Home Depot kind-of places (Jula) in Sweden. It was plain natural pine, about 30 dollars – I was lucky to even find one, they weren’t as common here back then. And then I got myself the colors I wanted. Four shades of blue and violet. Just some paint, not a big deal. Well, as the chair was going to be on the grass in front of the lupines under the birch tree and the open sky I needed out door paint. Only 90 bucks… Did anyone have opinions about this? What do you think?

Then I dismounted the whole chair. And it wasn’t a four-part back. It was a seven. And then on to the paint job.

It was a sad summer. Not only because of the chemo but the weather. A no-good summer for painting. It was raining a lot. And very windy, as it always is. I can truly say that it took me the whole summer and a good part of the fall to make this Seattle fun thing become reality in Sweden. Every single part of the chair needed three coats of paint. Most of it I had to do inside because of the weather. And, of course, I was very week. I could only do so much at a time. But, finally it was done.

It’s now the forth summer I am enjoying this Seattle inspired jewelry in front of my mothers lupine sea and the two impossible-to-move rocks. I’m so glad I put all that money into that paint, because the finish is still as beautiful as when it was first done.

The very same summer Trouble & Trouble and I planted for baby apple trees in the lupine sea. The winters to come should be really hard on those babies, but they have all survived snow, deer and field mice and are looking good, spreading above the lupines and framing those impossible rocks.

Now, a forth dream for this spot is a water lily in a zinc bucket under the birch tree with the deck chair. Shouldn’t be that hard? Well, the zinc bucket is a substitute for a good size pond, so it’ really just a tiny dream. But water lilies need some depth so it took me many years to find a deep enough bucket. Which I did last summer.

My cousin Pär helped me plant the water lily in some special clay at the bottom of the bucket. Pär lives in Miami and knows his way around water plants. I am sure he did everything right, but somehow the poor lily didn’t seem to enjoy her life deep down in the bucket, she just stayed down there and the water and clay turned to a dark green mess. At my return from Seattle in the beginning of October there was a crust of ice slicing the poor thing and I gave her back to nature. I had to give in for the moment.

But I am not giving up! This summer I haven’t had a chance to make it a new try, but hopefully next year. Because I am looking at my mothers lupines, which were just a couple to start with and I know her dream was a sea of them. And then I added my dreams: the rocks, the colorful deck chair and the four baby apple trees. I will just keep on trying for my water lily.

So, there is this list of 77 more or less impossible dreams. Add three that I actually accomplished and fulfilled. In spite of everything, circumstances and challenges. Check, check, check. And help me remember that I did. It was possible. It’s not big dreams. They are small and very down to earth. They are dreams I can look at every day though, thinking; I did it. Goddamn, I actually did it.

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