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This. This slope, covered now in snow, is the spot where Artedi was born. This very spot is where Christer and Henrik get a second chance in The Seventh Flower.
An appropriate place for two people who – what are the odds? – both have a thing for the enduring friendship between Linnaeus and Artedi. These two lovers of history.
These two lovers.
I’m a sucker for time. The wings of history, comparing then and now… And this frozen field where nothing grows – in half a year, it will be covered in grass and wild flowers. In just six months, the sun will only set a few hours over this spot. Now it only shines at midday.
The rays are so yellow, so tired. The sun climbs just over the horizon and then sets again, too exhausted to stay, and the light never reaches its full potential. Just this yellow-pink, golden glow that leaves as soon as it touches the crystallized trees.
To think that this is the landscape where Christer drives his car through the bright early morning mist, searching for Henrik! The landscape where they watch the sun rise together – at half past two in the morning.
It’s frozen. Dead. Silent.
And in just six months, it will all be green again.
The darkest, longest night of the year is past. Now we change course and move towards the sun again. Every day, the world will become a little brighter.
It couldn’t come at a more fitting time for me. Last Friday, it was the day of my defense. In hindsight, I realize that I’ve been under more pressure about this than I thought – and I was aware of quite a lot of pressure! It feels as if for five years, I’ve slowly, excruciatingly rolled up in a tight ball, like a cramp or a Big Bang, and now that knot has loosened, the world has exploded into being, and I’m free. And at the same time, the sun returns. It’s almost too symbolic.
I can’t believe it’s done – that it’s finally over. The longest project so far in my life, and it’s now finished. My road has been very stony, dark, and misty. I haven’t had a clue where I was going. It’s all been very confusing.
But the defense went really well, I had a wonderful discussion with my examiner, my whole family was there to watch, my colleagues and friends and of course my husband. Instead of terror, I felt a cautious kind of joy. My work was accepted by the person I respect most – and whose model I used in my studies! Talk about coming full circle.
The party afterwards was wonderful, and I’m not as tired as I should be. I feel like a load of stones have fallen from my shoulders, and I can begin to straighten up again. And above all: I can now be an ordinary person again. I’m not a PhD student anymore. I’m a doctor. I’m done. There’s nothing more to prove. I can go about my business like everyone else and not have to reach for the stars. I can relax. I don’t have to know everything. I can let things be as vague as they are in the real world and not pretend to have an answer.
Well, at least as long as I’m not talking to the media, but you know… I can move on! Maybe on one of these. 😉