There is a tender, unbridled, and almost sacred lightness in Stockholm that makes you wonder about certain things. It disturbs you in a good way.
During the summer-time, the sun does not go down until 11 in the evening, and it rises at three in the morning. The food here is clean, delicious, and almost-always fresh. I made friends with a little boy with golden curls. His name is Elton and he has the sweetest smile. One slow afternoon in Nynäshamn, I sat under the sun and ate cherries freshly picked from the tree in front of me. I walked on cobblestone paths with the boy I love; we sat by the river and we held hands. Then, he told me that he loved me, too.
Stockholm has become a special place to me in one ways too many. Its old town is littered with souvenir shops from which kind people with big hearts make a living. Peddlers along the street sell necklaces with stones sworn to have come all the way from Ethiopia, while musicians try to make an extra few kroner before calling it a day.
I had the most luscious hot chocolate served to me in a huge bowl, and the winding, never-ending flights of stairs scattered around the city have become more of a joy to climb rather than a chore.
The pace of life here suddenly makes so much sense—perhaps, this is the product of life lived with mindfulness and with reverence to this fleeting thing called time. In a city where things are kept no-frills and are easy going, the simple things are the ones that carry the most significance. The people here seem to know the key to happiness; they carry it in their hearts like a well-kept secret. But there is nothing to hide; you see it in their way of life. The crinkle around their eyes when they smile, the way they respect each other’s space, the way the city operates on the economy of trust.
It is a city has held me captive, and I have fallen in love with it rather deeply. You learn to enjoy life for what it is and not what it could be.
Somehow, you learn how to hold on to things a little more loosely.