A light exists in spring
Not present on the year
At any other period.
When March is scarcely here
A color stands abroad
On solitary hills
That science cannot overtake,
But human nature feels.
On the outskirts of the city of Malmö, in the very south of Sweden, a new green space is being created. It is open to the public. Here you can play or relax or grow vegetables or build dens in the wood or make art or music or…
Aye, it’s early days yet, there are still a lot of diggers and machinery, but Lindängelund is open now, and anyone can go there.
I love water so unsurprisingly, I am attracted to the man-made lake and the plants that have made their way there.
There is a lot of grey, stones and earth being unturned as the pathways are landscaped. Browns from the compost heap. Not the expanses of green you would expect from a park. Not yet.
There are also wooded spaces, and a forest garden. And an enclosed natural arena, a magical example of land art created by an artist working with children from Malmö.
And a forest for children full of places to make dens.
But I like those open, raw spaces. They remind me of the north of Scotland, how the colours explode when the sun comes out, the wetness, the wind, the loneliness.
Last week I was helping to prepare a “potato day” of workshops for about 100 children with Lina and Lisa, co-ordinators at Lindängelund.
Suddenly the sky darkened. It started chucking down, and then the hailstones started hitting me horizontally in the face. I felt a fierce joy, some weird kind of exhilaration, at this display of nature’s force. Sure I was wearing the right gear and knew I would be warm and dry and drinking a cup of tea in about one minute’s time – and yet – it was just at that cold, wet, windy moment that I felt more alive than I had in days.
There is so much I want to do here. Dig more clay out of the banks of the lake and work with it, more workshops with children, creating with natural materials together in this particular space.
I want to run more workshops with vegetable paints, but this time using vegetables grown right here.
More games and drama activities. This is the perfect site for “The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff”, perhaps my favourite-ever fairy tale.
Emily Dickinson wrote that A light exists in spring. The green shoots may be small at the start of spring, but they are there. It is very exciting to see how this project of bringing people, land, water, gardening and creativity together is growing. There are a lot of committed people here, who want Lindängelund to belong to its community, who want children to play here, want gardeners to meet and exchange plants and ideas here. And of course want to make lots of time for fika, that Swedish blend of coffee, biscuits and chat.
Spring has definitely sprung. The “mother sun” sign on the gardening terraces will soon have sunflowers around her. Why not come along and check them out?