Aimlessly for a reason
Grethe was born in Denmark in 1930 and had no real interest in the outdoors until she moved to Härjedalen in Sweden, 1964. Exploring a new place on her own created a taste for more and quite soon every day became an adventure into the woods, mountains or lakes nearby, regardless the weather and season. It was as if she had found her calling – there was so much to discover. Since then, not a day goes by without time spent in nature, nowadays a little closer to home than before.
It’s the 5th of May and the sun is back in Sweden. It has been a long and dark winter as I’ve not been able to live like I normally do during winter. My bike ride to the gym for yoga and spinning ended when the gym had to close due to Covid and with my neck fracture from last year, I have not dared to cycle outside as before. But for this specific date, I have packed my faithful Primus vacuum bottle, I have charged the battery on the electric bike and I finally get to go out in the woods and hear my dear nightingale again. Spring has arrived.
So I sit here on my bench, I can neither see nor move very well anymore, but the sound of birds singing, the waves crashing and the treetops swaying makes me calm. The scent of spring flowers, the wind in my hair and the sun on my face makes me happy. Senses that brings me back to my explorations in the mountains, when I was the exciting ”wife of a doctor” from Denmark who aimlessly discovered nature together with my two Grand Danes. They were always kept loose on our adventures, but after the incident with the bear, I started to have them on a leash. I will always remember that roar. Oh dear what a sound and Oh dear was I scared. I don’t know if it was thanks to my dogs or if she had no interest in me, but luckily, she turned and disappeared.
I always have a purpose with my hikes – exploring new places, finding specific flowers, catching fish for dinner or just experiencing something different. I rarely follow trails as I’ve always been good at noticing things, such as where the sun stands, specific formations like fallen trees or special rocks and so I always find my way back. Except for that one time when I was looking for raspberries up in the hills (but please don’t tell anyone). I had gone up and down several peaks and through a couple of forest clearings when I finally found lots of raspberry bushes, but when I looked around I thought 'where did I come from?'. There were only bogs everywhere and it all looked exactly the same. I didn’t know what to do so I sat down on a rock and picked up my Primus Vacuum Bottle and suddenly, sitting there with a coffee in my hand I saw how the sun reflected in the window of my car. Far away. Quickly I packed up and went straight towards the car, through swamps and thickets, otherwise I would have been completely lost again.
Were it not for my vacuum bottle, I would not have sat on that rock and so I would not have seen the car. After that day, I always carry a vacuum bottle with coffee no matter where I go.
- Grethe Dullum
Retired since long, Sweden