Confession: On July 27th 2018 I already knew I wouldn’t go back to Belgium after 1 year of living in Sweden. It was the night of the blood moon lunar eclipse. I had been carefully planning the event: looking up exactly where the moon would appear in the sky that night & searching for the place that would offer me the best view, so I could witness the spectacle without straining any neck muscles. ‘Full moon view’ was what I was going for. I prepared a bag with snacks, drinks, a blanket and my camera and headed off to the rock with the best seats: overlooking the lake, no trees or buildings would block my view. Picture a giant rock full of curious people waiting for this event in the sky. Waiting & wondering if we would actually see the moon. At the official lunar eclipse starting time we still hadn’t caught a single glimpse of the moon & I started to worry. What if we were all looking in the wrong direction like stupid fools?
What followed was a blind wild goose chase. I ran up & down the path along the lake, exploring all corners of the sky without success, while it was slowly growing darker. Somewhere halfway rushing down that path for the third time I gave up, picked a medium rock and made myself comfortable with a blanket to sit on, some snacks and a glass of wine (ok, in reality it was a plastic bottle I filled with wine for easy transport, true festival style). I was enjoying a lovely summer night by the lake, with the soft soothing sound of water brushing against the shore. I was happy, even though I was missing the blood moon lunar eclipse. While I was staring in the distance, in the direction of where the moon was supposed to appear in the sky, I suddenly noticed a thick slightly darker band right above the horizon. Clouds. So thin & camouflaged that I almost missed them, or better: that I actually missed them at first. And you’ll never guess what was hiding behind those clouds. The moon.
But by then, the night was not so much about the lunar eclipse anymore, because right before I solved the moon mystery, a warm feeling had washed over me: I felt at ease and so very free, for the first time since long, that I could not help myself to feel like I finally belonged. Here. With myself. In Sweden. That’s when I whispered to myself: I can’t go back to Belgium.
Of course I can’t predict the future. This is the now, June 29th. Maybe I can belong somewhere else as well. That’s something I don’t know. But I trust that I will, when I need to. For now this is all I know: Sweden, Stockholm, my life here, makes me happy, so I’m staying indefinitely, for now. My 1 year trial period is officially over.