NIGHT BEFORE DAY IN BROMARV
Written and Illustrated by A.B. Dance
Never aroused from sleep for the first time in seven years, I thought there was something weird going on in the dark silence of Bromarv. Even our dog Dina didn’t snore or have, what I call a dog mare, causing her to wine in her sleep. Harriet my dear wife, slept like a rock, and if someone threw her in the ocean, she would sink immediately to the bottom and stay there.
For the first time in years, I recalled the smell of clean air when I ran in the woods as a child. Today I didn’t get up as I usually do at three forty-five when the HBL newspaper fell through the mail slot. Today was different. No mail, skateboarders, or happy off key enthusiastic singers expressing their undiscovered voices in the street below our apartment window. There were no early morning delivery trucks unloading their goods so the surrounding neighborhood could eat. No doors slammed as working tenants, half asleep, headed to their jobs. A streetlight didn’t swing violently from a wire outside our window. In fact, the thick dark was so dense in Bromarv, I couldn’t see my wife or the walls that surrounded us. The fresh air, silence and dark kept asking us to be at peace and rest. This intension of Nature to kiss our souls I believed is the same kiss given each night to the village of Bromarv.
I got up, felt around in the dark working my way to the windows in the next room bumping into everything. I pulled back the curtain on the window- nothing but silence and darkness. The trees so thick, help cancel out even the reflection off the sea near the house. I love it.
Morning came with an ultramarine blue cloudless sky. However, the Sandman kept pouring bags of his sleepy mixture in our eyes. Even the dog forgot about doing her downward dog stretch to energize herself. There was no whining from her to go out, she laid there on her back, paws in the air as if to say, “Wherever this place is, it’s has to be dog heaven, because I don’t have to get up and bark at a crazy HBL delivery boy-I love this…ZZZZZZZ.
None of us got up at a time we usually do. We were out of sink with what Nature put us through- rest, peace and quiet- her rehab program for city folks who fell victim to the business of doing, and a city pup who disliked paper boys, was now canceled.
My Bromarv morning started with a hot then cold shower as I imagined it being a waterfall waking my soul up to the day. After doing the same, Harriet and Dina rushed outside, of course Dina didn’t take a shower, however, she lead the charge over the outside landscape. I could almost hear Dina barking out of breath. “Mom, Dad, look at all the space. the trees, and…What’s that?” She turned back to get an answer from Harriet.
“That’s a rabbit Dina,” Dina stood there confused. We see little or no wildlife in city and if we do, we’re in the car traveling too fast to really enjoy it. Dina watched as the rabbit took off into the underbrush.
We eat breakfast and it was the first-time oatmeal tasted so good. Was it the air that woke up my taste buds? Or was it the sound sleep finding a nerve in my brain connected my tongue convincing it food still had taste? Then the great moment came, what will we do next?
I started. “We could go to…no. We could call…no they’re not up yet. Maybe we could listen to the news?” Harriet questioned my thinking, “Nah, we never watch or listen to that stuff, why would we now while in this beautiful woodland setting? Lets leave the discord behind and run free in nature.”
We took off walking to the General Store in the middle of Bromarv with Harriet and I wearing these strap on spikes to keep us from falling, hers over a set of boots, mine over white sneakers. I felt like an American football player who forgot his game shoes.
The military crunch, crunch, crunch of walking on the snow gave us a sense of purpose other than buying groceries. We were a unit of three marching, we had our crunch, crunch, crunch rhythm making sound down. We were making our way through the snow filled streets of Bromarv swinging our arms and hips letting viewers know we had it together. Even Dina’s four paws kept time with us. Crunch, crunch, crunch, we had never done this before. In the city, a walk to the store was down two flights of stairs, a half a block to the left of our apartment, stop, shop, then back.
Marching out of the woods toward the middle of the village, not any village, but Bromarv, was a first for us, especially the distant we had to travel. Crunch, crunch, crunch, and all the while we took in the beautiful landscape, I snapped pictures. Crunch, crunch, crunch, “Hei!” We spotted a tall good looking Finnish man clearing a driveway of snow. “Hei!” he enthusiastically returned the greeting with a wide smile. Harriet dropped her native language Swedish and exchanged notes and stories in Finnish on what brought them both to Bromarv. Dina and I who didn’t speak either tongue watched birds gather in the trees overhead calling out directions to each other.
Crunch, crunch, crunch, we were back marching toward the General Store. “He’s here cleaning his friends driveway while they are away.” Said Harriet. She continued. “He also mentioned when he returns from Helsinki, we are welcome to visit, nice huh?” “Very nice.” I replied clicking away at the birds in the trees still discussing their flight plans.
We passed the rustic church we saw when we first arrived still with little or no activity. I thought, “Who would be on their knees in the middle of the week praying this early in the morning when they could be sleeping? Then again, maybe they said what they needed to say standing in the beautiful woods surrounding Bromarv.”
Arriving at the General Store we heard a loud strong “Hej” coming from a petite girl who ran the register checking out customers. We took a basket to place goods in. “Wow, what a solid welcome to a business establishment, wouldn’t you say, Harriet?” I said digesting the greeting we just received. Harriet also agreed.
When you pass through or build a home in Bromarv, you must spend a good two hours in Skafferi Ett taking in the amount of products they have packed in their tiny store. We found everything from apples to Kalle Anka comics. And the service is outstanding to the point major department stores should have their staff train there. In fact, we asked for a certain chocolate bar and Tanja, another young lady working the floor, now a friend, stepped forward.
“We don’t have it now but, the next time you come in we will.”
Feeling we didn’t want to take advantage of her generosity Harriet and I responded with, “Oh, please you don’t have to do that.” Tanja replied, “It’s no problem, we do it for our customers all the time.”
The family of people at Skafferi Ett, are courteous, kind, helpful and gave wide smiles. When we checked out, we felt energized, carrying home their feelings of acceptance to the community.
A.B. Dance bor under våren 2022 på prov i Bromarv tillsammans med sin fru Harriet och hunden Dina. I den här serien berättar han om upplevelsen att flytta från storstaden till lugnet på landet och deras intryck av livet i Bromarv.