Sunday, January 4, 2015

A wintry sunset walk

When I was in elementary school we had a post-lunch period called "walk-and-talk"—all the kids were herded out to the blacktop and you basically walked...and talked. Around and around the perimeter with your friends (or those that were your friends that particular day) to chat, gossip, and scope out what the cool kids were up to in their little group away from everyone else.

I was thinking about that last week when just before we rang (yawned) in the New Year, things had quieted down enough between holidays for a friend to meet me for a long overdue and much indulged-in talk...while we walked.

We met near the bridge connecting the city and Kungsholmen and ducked down a staircase to Kungsholms strand, the walkway that runs alongside Karlsbergssjön (a lake leading out to the sea) and up around the edge of the island.

We hadn't seen each other for a good bit, so there were many things to catch up on, but often we just walked in silence. With the sky blazing every shade of orange and rose and blue, every single one of which was reflected off of the carpet of white laid over both the land and the sea, words were sometimes too much.

It was enough to crunch along in the snow in companionable stillness and know that we were both inhaling the same crisp air into our slightly over-extended bodies, thanks to days of celebrations, and feeling it scrub away the apartment air clinging to our skin and tickling just under our hats and hoods to blow a few strands of our long hair around. Our eyes brightened, our skin tingled, and just as a touch too much of the cold was seeping into our boots we came upon the bakery I had scoped out before we met.

Bullar & Bröd, perched half a block in from the northwestern-most tip of Kungsholmen, had candles winking at us from the window and the scent of cinnamon and cardamom wafting out to meet us as we heaved open the door. A coffee with liberal glugs of milk and a Sarah Bernhardt (also known as a chocolatebiskvier, a Swedish chocolate biscuit) for me and a black coffee, half a sandwich and a kannelbulle (a portly cinnamon bun, hence the half sandwich), for her. We set ourselves up before the line of candles on the wooden counter banked against the nearly floor-to-ceiling windows and settled in for our fika.

I remember when we moved here and I was wondering about making new friends—never did I expect I'd make such a good one so fast, and one with such a beautiful family (whom I love spending time with), too. In those first few weeks after we arrived she sent me messages every day just to see how my new life in Stockholm was going so far. What a beautiful thing to have someone so kind in my life—especially someone that enjoys a walk by the water as much as I do.

One year ago: 2014: the beginning & Week 1
Two years ago: Carafes, castles, clans & The places you'll go & Postcard from Honduras

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