It is the end of November and the days are getting shorter. This morning when the children woke up, we were still enveloped by darkness. They asked us with big eyes: “Is it morning time?” and I hesitated in my response. The clock showed that it was past 7 a.m. but my body wanted to turn over and have another snooze. I thought of the bear at Skansen that got to retire to their caves and sleep the winter away only to wake up by the end of March.

When we got to preschool, I noticed the sign that said: “Nu går vinterkräksjukan runt på våning 3”. Great, the annual stomach flu is going around. I am already frantic about washing hands all day long. Yesterday, I stocked up on mandarins, kale and pomegranate. But there is only so much one can do.

Picking up a package, I scanned the headlines of today´s newspapers. Shortage of freshwater classified as the greatest global threat by the World Economic Forum. Sex trade more common than believed in the north of Sweden - cases involving refugee children reported. CIA director warns Trump about scrapping the Iran-deal and increasing the chance of new war in the region. I am tempted to buy a copy, but I don´t. Not today.

I decide to go for a brisk walk. As I come to the top of the hill, I step into the frail sunbeams that managed to climb over the apartment buildings around me. For a moment, I stand still and do a “Swede”. I turn my face into the sunlight and enjoy the brightness and warmth of the moment. As I walk on, I think about perspective. There are so many troublesome things in this world to mourn over, to worry about and to work on. But then there are so many beautiful things to be noticed, to be thankful for, to celebrate.

 

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Is there room in our minds and in our hearts for the good, the beautiful? And do we disrespect the issues we face in this world when we choose to spend time seeing and enjoying beauty? Perhaps those moments when we seek to soak in beauty are necessary for us to gain a new perspective. To understand that there is hope, that there is a creative force at work, both in the heavenly realms and through our very own hands.

Perhaps those moments can flow over, into the situations where we do need to see and respond to that which is not well in our world. Perhaps this is when we operate from our core, our soul which is longing and working toward a new heaven and a new earth.