Jag gick med Ronja i skogen– hon som har varit inspirerande hela mitt liv: med äventyr och modighet och at leva uti skogen, och att vara arg (och skrika när man måste eller bara vill).
I walked with Ronia in the woods. Near the place where I want to live. I asked her about what she would do, this figure who I’ve kept half an eye on for so much of my life as an example of ferocity and bravery and pride and wild broken heartedness.
I often think that I should learn at least basic phrases and names for flora and fauna in Ojibwe, but today since I was talking to myself– and to Ronia– I spoke Swedish.
The trees didn’t mind. Neither did the moss that is so vibrantly green right now it is more real than the rest of the world. The birch bark lay in sheets on the ground, as if the trees have all started writing new drafts and are too rich with visions and ideas to even bother throwing the old ones into the fire.
Catkins dangled like party decorations off a young birch. My friend’s mountain rose up beyond the river. (Though as Birk tells Ronia, it’s the foxes’ woods and murktrolls’ woods and the wild horses’ woods— to which she replies, tell me something I don’t know already, something I don’t know better than you, or shut up.)
It’s a frightening thing to love the woods– what if they don’t love you back? Why should they? Wouldn’t it be better to stay in the safe grid of the city, in the tidy blocks of the town? To pretend that the wild isn’t the way of things, that it isn’t creeping, always, reclaiming everything that isn’t constantly wiped down?
My friend Jon says, “You can have Magic or you can have Predictability, but you can’t have both.”
I think maybe you can have your soul or your safety; your fresh, wild life or the illusion that death will never come for you.
Jag frågade Ronja, skulle jag bo i stan eller här, vid strömm och träd och okänd farlighet? Och Ronja svarade, Jag skulle endast leva här.
Shall I be tame or wild?
Ronia tells Birk, Cover your ears, my spring yell is coming! Birk tells Ronia, This summer is going to live with me the rest of my life.