By Aleks Kashefi

Sweden brought much, including Wagony McWagonface, my new adventure wagon. So with ticket in hand, I sit waiting to board the ferry. To get onboard and leave Sweden. The harsh weather of the north. The lack of civilisation. The sense of beating yourself against an impenetrable force. The people I’ve met and had the privilege to be shown kindness by. All these have been the catalyst needed to learn. Not only the skills I need to be a better outdoorsman, a better runner, but the things I needed to realise to be a better person. The ego driven adventure gave way to something that feels like it flows. The aches, pains, fatigue, hunger, thirst, cold. All discomforts that are now just sensation that tell me Lady Winter is here and I embrace her willingly.

I owe all this. The opening of yet more doors that show me who and what I am as a human, I owe to the land and people of Sweden. A land that has at least 3 different ways of saying thanks. The land with people who are reserved and keep to themselves but are warm and welcoming at the same time. To the place where most days were cold, most night colder. To the few I’ve met in person and the others I’ve talked to on social media. You have etched yourself into my being and I gladly offer you space in my heart, as I owe you more than a person can ever possibly explain.

Soon I shall also have made it through Denmark...

Today I wandered blank. A clean space for ideas to form and this is what came into beings. Happiness…

Happiness is finding a heated toilet, a wind shelter and a cabin with electricity. Happiness is knowing you don’t have to continue. Happiness is the comfort in your ability to survive and overcome obstacles. Happiness is access to food. Happiness is access to water. Happiness is knowing others will share their time with you in return for nothing other than your time shared with them. Happiness is having a goal to work towards, even when your current goal is not yet complete. Happiness is knowing that there are others who believe in you, who will support you even when they aren’t in your presence. Happiness is a smile. Happiness is a wave from a stranger. Happiness is sharing footsteps as you run with a friend or stranger. Happiness is experiencing the warmth and generosity of the human race.

Happiness is the bite of cold on your face, the trickle of rain from your brow, the warmth of the sun on your hands and the glow of the sky as the sun says farewelll for another day. Happiness is friends and family that don’t demand your presence, but embrace it when it’s there. Happiness is small things in the absence of large things. Happiness is a morning mist floating along the surface of a lake. The sound of a stream, the footprint of a deer, the scratch marks of a wolverine, the call of a raven as it flies above. Happiness is the memory of shelter from the cold, triggered by the smell of birch wood burning in a fire. Happiness is a fixed puncture and the ability to fix any in the future.

Happiness is the simplicity of doing what you are designed to do. To move freely. To experience the lightness of motion, the strain of muscle and the spring of sinew. Happiness is not feeling alone when there is no one around.

If you want to catch up on the full accounts ofl my recent travels so far then head over to my Blog, otherwise... the road continues on...

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published