“I give you this to take with you: Nothing remains as it was. If you know this, you can begin again, with pure joy in the uprooting.”
- Judith Minty, “Letters to my Daughters”
We left the winter beaten landscape of Sweden drooping like wilted flowers dying for a single ray of sunshine. Over the years, Scandinavian winter had cast its ominous spell heavily on us until we recognised the melancholic and uninteresting streak that had begun to bend us out of shape. We could hardly appreciate the brisk summer because we knew that winter was longer, darker and it was coming. There is something about a severe winter that gives one a feeling of being trapped in a white prison. A month or two or even three of this can be romanticised but a six of those every year is enough to turn one acerbic like wine turning into vinegar. People like us are not built to survive long winter months; neither are we built to sustain scalp-piercing heat. We are simply constructed to live in a place where the weather doesn’t interfere. And where would that be? We wondered and we dreamed of it every day of our lives. Without our knowing, our children had become like us searching for the one place they could call home where life wasn’t about thick layers of clothing that was too difficult to peel off, or about being baked alive under the sun. “It’s just a matter of time. We will find it dear.” We reassured them with enough hope that hugged our dreams tight at night. What we didn’t know was, that they were growing like lotuses in a pond with roots floating lightly in the water. They could grow into beautiful individuals or into despondent creatures with no desire to ever root themselves. That was the repercussion that was likely of our flights for the search of a better world. But we braced for it with the hope of seeing them turn into fantastic human beings who had the best of many worlds and for whom adapting would be like their second skin. Perfect people for the future they await, we imagined. We could be wrong but we liked to believe that we were right.
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