While we were in Sweden a few weeks ago, we had the chance to explore an old Swedish farmhouse that was almost literally frozen in time. From the embroidered cushions to mismatched dining chairs, it felt like we had walked onto a movie set or a cultural museum. The décor was a mashup of decades. Most of it felt 70s kitsch but there were items that had obviously been heirlooms from much further back. We even found a black and white photograph of some unsmiling folks, rigid in their poses, like they’d been sitting there for a while to get the shot.
I like to imagine what life might have been like back then, aside from the lack of technology, it probably wasn’t so different from the lives we live now. I had this realization – that people in the past aren’t so drastically different from us in the present – when reading Anne Frank’s diary. I was amazed at how much I actually related to her, which I did not see coming. Even though she lived in hiding during the 1940s in the Netherlands, it brought back feelings and memories from my own teen years. It makes me feel so much more connected to the past and to life itself, knowing that we’re all (even those living 1000 years ago) built from the same basic components. We are more than just individuals existing in the here and now – we have a long, epic history that shaped each and every one of us, and we’re preparing the way for a long, epic future. Walking through this house, I saw myself, very consciously and very simply, as part of that timeline.