The Lapland of Abundance
Updated: Mar 4, 2021
Today I was shoveling snow—the light kind that flies if you sneeze on it—thinking that Lapland Sweden is the land of abundance. Everything you can think of here is more abundant than anywhere else. Snow, abundance. Check. Here in Kardis I don’t suffer any of that Michigan fear that when the snow is finally good enough for a sleigh ride, the rain will pour down and ruin it. It snows and snows some more, feet and then more feet (though they count in centimeters and meters here, of course). We feel rich with snow. Snow balances on every fence post, tree branch, and tractor implement, ridiculously deep, changing the shape of everything. The snow hanging down from my neighbor’s lean-to shed roof has caught up with the snow on the ground, so there’s one continuous line of snow from peak to ground. That’s abundance. When it’s cold, it’s abundantly cold. It’s so cold that neighbors compare thermometer readings and brag. Was it minus 37 or 43? Some neighbor had minus 45 the other day. We feel stronger the colder it is, like having a dad who can beat someone else’s dad. When it’s dark, it’s abundantly dark—polar darkness eases in on us in late November, offering a few hours of blue light per day, and the sun doesn’t show up again until January 8th or so here in Kardis. But then when it’s sunny, it’s abundantly sunny. In March, you have to wear sunglasses against the sun on the snow. From sometime in May to sometime in August, it never even gets dark. Talk about abundant daylight (and night light). Then there are the berries. From cloudberries in July to huckleberries in August to lingonberries in September, they are too abundant to pick. You can only dream of picking them all. You find yourself in places where you can pick all day (or all week for that matter) but you won’t come to the end of the berries. Greed can take over you and you can try your best, but always you pack home your buckets of berries feeling you haven’t really done your duty because there are so many left. The mosquitoes are as abundant as the wildflowers are as abundant as the red paint on the red houses. This is what I was thinking while I threw snow against the house to insulate it—white snow against the red house all the way up to the windowsills already. And it’s only February with more abundance in our future. Yes, I felt rich.