A Natural Connection

I think I’m turning into my grandpa – my morfar as they say in Swedish (they are a very specific race and don’t have a general word for grandparent, rather mother’s father etc). This thought hasn’t concerned me so much as satisfied me – he is one of my favourite people in the world and if I achieve even a small part of what he has so far then I’m sure my immediate world will be happier.

There are two main indications that lead me to think I’ve taken a lot of his traits.

Firstly, he is constantly thinking about food. His children and grandchildren are often amused and occasionally stressed by how far in advance he can mentally prepare a meal – talking about dinner over breakfast is a regular occurrence. I suspect all people of a certain era do this, born out of necessity to prepare every meal themselves, from an age before fast food and take-away was within easy reach. I also behave similarly out of necessity – it is quite hard to match my food choices to many take-away options; and as mentioned in previous posts, my preference is to avoid packaging…soaking beans means I often out-trump grandpa by thinking about tomorrow’s dinner while tonight’s is on the stove. Not having many on-the-run lunch options means I have to think ahead about that as well. I’m comfortable with this – less fast food is healthier and less take-away makes the wallet heavier.

Secondly, the most recent time I spoke with grandpa he said – “the garden is one of my best friends”, which made me laugh heartily. It wasn’t (in my mind) a sad reflection on his friendship circle, rather an acknowledgement of how important his garden is in his life. My favourite pastime on Kangaroo Island is poking about the garden. Along similar lines is his attraction to the land – he grew up in country towns, which he (I think) fostered in his children, despite them living in the ‘big smoke’ of Adelaide throughout their youth. They have all at some stage owned land ‘in the sticks’ and increasingly I feel myself being drawn out of the city – to a life where the rise and fall of the sun constitutes time; where I can grow all my own food, be forced to think about what to make for next Tuesday’s dinner because there really is no other option; or get enjoyment from just being outside.

There are quite a number of other traits I see in myself that came from morfar – another prominent one is the urge to travel, especially on the road. Of course, I can picture things I do that come from my entire lineage, but a character connection with my morfar feels the strongest of all just now, even from half the globe away.

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