One of the things I have been most looking forward to since moving to Sweden is picking blåbär (blueberries) in the forest. When I was a child, one of my favourite stories was Peter In Blueberry Land by the late Swedish author and illustrator Elsa Beskow, and I would dream of one day harvesting blueberries from the forest myself.
I was running the other day when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a huddle of people bent over, reaching down into the undergrowth. I knew immediately what it was that they were doing, and stopped short in my tracks. I looked down excitedly to see tiny berries hiding in the greenery. I couldn’t wait to tell Sebastian! Blueberry picking is as natural to the everyday Swede as breathing, and when the berries have had time to get a little fatter, the forest will be busy with folk staining their fingertips and lips.
But I am impatient, and wanted to have some berries in the house. So this evening, Sebastian, Little Tyra and I went out into the woods, and less than five minutes from our apartment, picked our first blåbär of the season. I had a little hand painted basket that I found for 30 kroner in Emmaus, and I gave it to Tyra to use to collect the blåbär in. Needless to say, it suited her quite well.