I live in a small town in the south of Sweden. It’s called “Only” (and now I have the Nine Inch Nail song stuck on my head!) and in Iceland we would have called it “Sleepers town” because most people go to other places to work. It’s a quiet town with nothing in particular to draw you to it except perhaps the quietness and the tranquility.
When Stephen King talks about writing he often says that The Devil’s in the Details but of course someone also said that God is in the details. I’d like to keep religion out of it however and claim that there is happiness in the details too. I’d like to share with you some of the details that make my life better.
There is a larger road just one house away from mine. When I mean larger I don’t mean a highway. It’s a road you can drive at 40 kmh on (as opposed to 30 on mine). The bus drives there and stops just a minutes walk away from my house (30 seconds if you run) and it goes by every half hour or so. Even at night.
And the detail in that? I love it when I can’t sleep at night and I can hear the bus driving by. When it’s not too cold I keep the window open and I can hear the bus stopping to let someone off occasionally. This might irritate some people but it sooth’s me to know there are people there and that they’re alive and going about their business.
Another detail is the view I have over the beech forest. I don’t know what it is about that place I love so much. I didn’t know about it before I moved here (it’s a recreational area to the city I once lived smack in the middle of but the city has quite a lot of those). There are paths for you to walk or run (2k, 3K, 7K, 10K) and they are not at all crowded but you still usually meet one or two people on your way, sometimes more. These days I don’t run these paths though but run from home and towards the forrest and back. You may have seen a shot or two taken on that road.
And I don’t only just love running there (it keeps me sane) but I love having a view over the forest. I guess it might remind me of my families favourite spot on earth although it looks nothing like it. But there is peace there and nature. And something I can’t express. Mystery. There is so much mystery in forests (I grew up in a country where we call bushes forests!).
I have a large door that leads to the backyard and beyond my backyard is a small football field. In the mornings (again if it’s not too freezing cold) I can walk up to the hole in the bushes and look over the small field and breath in the fresh air. Silly, huh? But I like doing that. Now that it’s fall I need to put shoes on my feet so I keep shoes there in completely wrong area of the living room but if it means I can walk out there then what the heck?
I like that people talk to each other. This morning on my way home to work after leaving my kid in daycare I picked up a leaf and a man caught up with me and we walked for a minute side by side and talked about the weather. This happens all the time here. People talk to you. They talk about the weather or something unimportant but you talk to a lot of strangers and I love talking to strangers.
I love the fact that my street is quiet and that my daughter can play outside without me having to built a fortress around the house. I like that she can run to the bus station over the football field to greet her father when he comes home from work. I love it that it doesn’t take more than fifteen minutes or so to walk to the other end of Only and I love that there are about a gazillion ways to run around here, in town and out. And I really love that it’s called Only.
I’d like to live by the sea and there is no sea near Only but for now this is a great town to live in. Do you know what I mean?
Happiness is in the details!