The Midsummer Pole at Styrsö Bratten, Swedish west coast, Sweden 2022.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2022

The summer solstice on 21 June marked the day of maximum sunlight in the northern hemisphere. In Gothenburg, Sweden, these are the days when you can see the rim of the sun lightly touch the horizon and then rise again.

Born and raised in the tropics, it’s taken about twenty years to understand the Nordic seasons, and its individual feel. The ambience of a Nordic summer ranges from light grey drizzles that can last for days, to days of cloudless skies and moderate breezes to cool your skin under the sweltering sun.

Summer brings with it long lengths of daylight, which I love for its nuances of colour, sounds and activities throughout the day. This Midsummer’s morning began in the still of the view of the Nordic ocean. As late morning progressed to early evening, the social activities culminated for the community with its annual Midsummer dance around the pole. Spent on energy and happy with a variety of drinks, the sounds dwindle and trail off in different directions of the privately owned streets on the island, quieting into the Midsummer’s twilight hours again.

With temperatures so warm, the traditional Swedish food for Midsummer are locally sourced and prepared seafood such as preserved herring. Preserved herring is always accompanied with plenty of snaps. Shrimps and langoustine find their way to most household tables too. At home, we had our small grill going. Personally, I thought the soft puffs of smoke from the long burning charcaol complemented the evening’s twilingt hues. Beautiful.

The lottery table.

Investigating the lottery table with its wins, and reading the instructions on how to participate.

Contemplating a set of books on horticulture.


The midsummer’s grill.

Roses in full bloom.

Peonies in full bloom too.