The Landscape is Changing
This will be my 25th summer on the Island.
In late 1981, my parents were lucky enough to find a small island for sale, and the loans necessary to buy it. It measures only 300 by 70 meters, mostly smooth ice-ground granite with lichen and low pines, in a sheltered part of the Stockholm archipelago. There were two decrepit summer houses on the Island, which was lucky as it wouldn't have been possible to get a building permit for the new houses otherwise.
My dad and his friends did the demolition and the building. My mum took care of the household and the kids, baking innumerable chocolate fudge cakes. And after a bit more than a decade, us kids had grown up and three sturdy houses were finished. So was my parents' marriage. My mum bought my dad out of the Island and both went on to find better spouses.
The land is still recovering from aeons under the crushing frigid weight of the inland ice. Around here, it currently rises half a meter in a century. I've come here for a quarter of a century, which translates to 12.5 centimeters. It really shows at low water levels, like now. I am able to see at work the process that has turned Mesolithic seal hunting stations into mountaintops. If I make it to a ripe old age, I'll see my dad's jetties useless and landlocked and the rock lagoon where my brother and I used to swim gone dry.
I guess it's a lesson everyone learns with time: nothing is constant. Everything is changing. As Ursula LeGuin put it: all we ever have is here, now.[More blog entries about change, shoredisplacement, Sweden; förändring, strandförskjutning, skärgård.]