Waning Summer in Visby

panorama of medieval church ruins

This was our last day in Visby. I took two walks today; one on my own and one with Theo. On my own, I explored three of the old church ruins in the town. I find myself drawn to houses of worship everywhere we go. Even though I know that religious institutions are too often instruments of violence and discord and oppression, I also know that they are places of love and community and uplifting inspiration to care for others and the world. I know they are places of comfort, and I am comforted within them.

hand holding small heart-shaped stone with beach in background

What I noticed yesterday at Toftra beach, just south of Visby, was also quite apparent today: we’re in summer’s last light. Plants and walls are imbued with a golden tone. The sun is warm and the breeze is cool. I love this time of year, and I am so glad we’re experiencing it in a place and at a time that matches the rhythm of my lifelong experience of seasons. We intend to skip winter on this trip, (although Ireland must not have read that memo) and we will spend much of the year in summer-like weather. But I love early autumn. The few weeks after the summer’s scorching heat breaks and before sweater weather turns into sweater-and-coat weather are my favorite. The skies are usually crystal-blue. School have reopened and there is an energy of harvest and gathering together. Visby is a seasonal destination - much like Cape Cod or any beach spot on the East Coast. It has a year-round population that is but a small fraction of what it holds during the summer. Many shops and restaurants have already closed.

medieval tower of Visby ring wall

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