Yes we said it, yes it is true – this is the predicted lemming year. To the left you see a shy little baby-lemming which we met just a few metres from our house. Having so many lemmings around is fun for some, no fun for others. It is not just lemmings but also hundreds of voles and they like to move in with us humans = no fun. They are eating a lot of nice plants = no fun. But they are food too – for owls and raptors and this takes the pressure off other birds = great fun for them. Calenderwise it’s summer but the temperatures are halting behind. It is first now – in the middle of July – that it gets warmer. The days are beautiful though with white covered mountain tops, lush green forests and endless sunshine.
Still there is a lot of last winters snow left. This hiking season got spoiled widely by to much snow. On the other hand I heard a lot about happy hikers simply exploring the accessible parts of the “fjäll” on day hikes. A few days of rain in a row washed down a lot of the snow and rivers went up high. As well did the Torneträsk. It is impressive to see the water rise at even such a big lake.
After nearly a month abroad it felt good coming back. I think I missed the fresh air, the silence and the views. The sky is just wide here. This is what means freedom to me. Leaving the house in any direction and spending a few hours out there, just sitting on the shore of Torneträsk or somewhere on a little hill above the forest and doing nothing. I also started running again, getting the map and compass out and exploring the hills and lakes south of the village.
There is plenty of restlessness and energy due to the light and midnight sun. It just keeps you awake. People always ask about the winter, the darkness and cold. What do you think? The winter days are like yours in continental Europe – everybody likes to complain about going to work when it’s dark and coming home when it’s dark. Well, guess this is the same for us. But in between we sleep very good. And that is clearly not the case in summer. No matter how dark the sleeping room is, your body knows it’s light outside and it is impossible to darken the whole house.
So what do we do all day long?
We try to spend as much time outside as possible. We go for hikes, watch birds, sit in the gras and watch it grow, look out over Torneträsk, find controls, meet friends and talk about the weather, bake cakes and bread, enjoy the precious time playing with our child or we simply sit with a cup of tea and enjoy the scenery.
When looking at the mountains I find myself dreaming about hiking there. Living here doesn’t automatically makes it easier to get to know and hike through all the “fjäll”. It just shows you clearly every single day what you miss out on. Living here means having a job and having to spend most of your days right there. I have two jobs right now – one at the Touriststation and one to spend time with my child. Playing with the little munchkin is the best thing. We also take her along, sometimes in the pram, sometimes in a backpack. It still doesn’t mean to reach the highest peaks and deepest valleys. All the beauty we see around. It is hard to tell what comes next but I don’t want to leave before we explored the mountains around us.