IMG_1904I wish I could capture Dalarna into words for you, or into a photograph, or anything. But I can’t. Dalarna is the Northern Eden. It is the heart of Sweden. The Brigadoon of Scandinavia….. it is a portal back into time to the time when time really did not matter. You feel a level of inexpressible peace on the edge of the Dalarna wilderness. It has the sort of spiritual energy I have only ever experienced before in solitude on the mist swept ridge of mount Snowdon the summer before my mission and on those late summer evenings in the forest behind my house, when the sunlight would illuminate the fairy-like insects in pillars of light through the trees.IMG_1903

Unfortunately, here I cannot  sit and soak in the peace, and I cannot venture further into it. There are ties to the world of humanity that hold me back on the pavement and prevent me from stepping into the wild. It call me every single day and it takes every fiber of my being in constant concentration to keep my feet from running into the forest. I’ve decided- Dalarna is Narnia. It is miles and miles of savage snow clad forests- forest with souls in every tree and animals that talk and it is always winter but never Christmas. This upcoming week I predict the White Witch’s spell will break and Aslan will return in the roaring sunlight of much needed Swedish spring. Dalarna has the Narnian magic to it and so often I feel like Prince Caspian, living in the world of men, being beckoned to enter the wild woods of Lantern waste— who knows, maybe I’ll baptise a couple of Dwarves and a Badger in there.IMG_2312

Needless to say I can write hundreds of love letters to Göteborg and write hundreds of sonnets to the natural beauties of Dalarna. As Göteborg works perfectly to the soundtrack of Göteborg native Jose Gonzalez, Dalarna works perfectly to the soundtrack of Dalarna native The Tallest Man on Earth. Of course, I cannot listen to either of them on my mission but every wild forest, frozen lake and gentle hill brings his songs to my memory. He really wrote out his native landscape….a piece of his music I never appreciated until I came to his home wilderness. IMG_2315

Dalarna is a sacred place. The nature here hits you at a spiritual level………..and the worst part of this area: I am surrounded by ski resorts. I am serving in a ski town. Everywhere I look, I see ski hills. We have a T-bar bunny hill a five minute walk from our apartment and a full fledged ski resort a short bus ride away. My dreams have become mostly skiing.
IMG_1902 To combat the constant temptation, we have knocked on doors and talked to every single person on the street frantically. We are determined to find the prepared. As of now, not much has come from our efforts apart from high yet HOLLOW key indicator numbers and blisters but if there was anything I learned in my first area, Karlstad, which is just like here, it is that the Lord sends you the prepared only after you put in your faith and work through the rejection. We are being tested. We are being pummeled to be perfectly honest. We work nonstop every day, and the fruits of our labour seem to be nonexistent……but this means good things are coming. It has to be a very big blessing around the corner for us to receive this much misfortune.
“The blue skies are coming.
and I know that it is hard.”

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