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As I type this post, I am enjoying the view from a farmhouse tucked deep into the landscape of Gotland, Sweden.
Many of you know by now that I have some deep Swedish roots in my family. From food to vacations and books, I am always looking for ways to embrace my Swedish Heritage. This recent visit is part of the yearly trip I make to this country.
Many years ago I had the pleasure of visiting the childhood home of Astrid Lindgren in Swede and the memories are still fresh as yesterday in my mind. Getting to see where the author of Pippi Longstocking, Mio my Mio, and the Brother’s Lionheart, lived and grew up was almost verging on a pilgrimage for me.
The center and heart of Astrid Lindgren’s world was in Näs at Vimmerby, Småland, Sweden. Here, she was born in 1907. She grew up the daughter of a Rectory tenant and lived with her parents, brothers and sisters, as well as, many many friends.
“The best thing about my childhood was that we enjoyed just the right amount of safety and freedom”, Astrid said.”The safety cam from being surrounded by settled and confident adults: mother, father, farmhands, maids, cowherds, and female helpers. There was always someone around.
But the children also enjoyed a great deal of freedom, since the adults were very busy with their own jobs and chores on the farm. They couldn’t keep their eyes on the children all the time.
This farm along with the village of Vimmerby was a great resource of inspiration for the books “children of the Noisy Village”, and “The Noisy Village Christmas.” In these books, Astrid describes the kind of childhood which she had but she writes from the child’s perspective and not from an adult’s point of view. There was a life governed by play and imagination, a place which we all would love to return to. I know for myself I try to create many enchanting and memorable moments for my children to hold onto. Astrid said,” Inside, I will always be a country girl from Vimmerby”. “I write for my inner child”. And ours too luckily.
Played with her brothers and sisters jumping into piles of hay in the barn
Welcome to Näs at Vimmerby.