crystals of joy

I have come to love Japan, the nature, culture, food, the people – I feel at home here. But sometimes there is a little part of me missing Sweden, thinking of my old home with a twinge of longing. I have my parents there, my sister and her family, my dear friends, there is the delicious bread and the fog by the lake where I used to live. And then there is the winters and the snow.

Having got so accustomed to my completely new life with wife and child in Japan it is easy to not really remember what my old life in Sweden was like, or what I really loved. Coming back to Sweden this winter was in many ways coming back to my old life – a journey not only around half the world but also many years back in time. I found my old things still hiding in my parents basement, boxes with my beloved books, in other boxes old clothes I had forgotten I had kept. I rediscovered my love for Tomteskum, a very I am sure unhealthy but so so tasty marshmallow-like candy in the shape of Santa Clause. But more than anything I rediscovered my love for snow.

I remember the winters when I was a child as always being white with lots of playing in the snow. If it was really like that I have no idea, but that I was happy being out in the snow I know for sure. When I got older I can remember winters with no snow at all, and therefore maybe all the more joy when the snow finally arrived. When I started to get serious about photography, snow and ice became two of my favorite subjects and I could spend hours outside crawling in the snow looking for the perfect angel to frame a photo.

This time, coming home and being met with a proper cold white winter, was a little bit like winning on the lottery. I took so much pleasure in just walking slowly in the snow, listening to the creaking sound of my boots, feeling the icy cold air bite my cheeks. Even more pleasure was to walk with my camera, searching for glowing crystals of ice. Blue skies, the sun shining from a low angle, the temperature closer to minus 20 making the snow turn into small pieces of art everywhere. Although I am happily back home in Japan now, there and then I did not want to be anywhere else in the world.

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