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Vallby “Ceremony” – Birgitta Walsh
Birgitta Walsh

Vallby “Ceremony”

We gathered in early evening after dinner on our small pier which juts out into the water in what was the closest thing to a ceremony Birgitta will ever have. Sunny, water temp 18.5 degrees C. Wind from the Northeast at 5-7 Knots, water calm, with small waves. Some of the people she loved best: Husband, Daughter, Son-in-Law, Brother and a dear Cousin, to spread a small portion of her ashes in the lake so treasured. She wanted no fuss. But she would not have objected to the love and a few tears or the emotion which overcame all as the enormity of the occasion engulfed us each in their own quiet way. The pier created and built by the cousin, installed by friends and launched with little fanfare each year only to be removed as winter approaches. So typically Swedish. A pier she swam from to her husband’s caution “not so far, you’re not so young anymore”, her unexpressed thought “nag”. A pier we stood on in a year past at night with the setting midnight sun providing a beautiful mixture of color which so often fills the late night Swedish Summer sky. We listened to Charlie Norman and Robert Wells from Sundbyholm Slot caressing the ivories, black and white, as they created the music, to the applause of the adoring crowd. There were dozens of small boaters crowding nearby for a free performance because the show was sold out long before. A Swedish tradition repeated every Summer with the greatest of Swedish and sometimes foreign stars. Here we were just like the boaters hearing this treat for free for this is a country devoted to freedom. Free speech, Free religion, Free to pay their taxes. If you learn to really listen, as I recently have, you can hear the tunes that never die, they were there playing silently this evening, music that has long passed beyond our conscious hearing waiting for someone like our beautiful Contessa to join it on its long voyage through time and space. Travel with it in style, as you always have, my love. This time you don’t have to shiver from the cold water of this vast inland sea. This time you can become one with it on your journey through your beloved country, together, forever.

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