The dinner party was breaking up, as it did every year before it all came together an hour or so later again.

But this was an end. Scattered clusters of guests sat chatting with each other in different parts of the garden.

Earlier Ulf walked away to help one group who wanted to try out the spa-pool, but he was coming back now.

Christina wanted him to help preparing the barbecue. He was the only one with any experience to speak of when it came to setting food ablaze. She grinned at the thought. She wasn't fair. He was good at the grills, good at planning and doing, as long as someone sane reined him in. Left to his own devices he sometimes became a disaster in the waiting.

And I had to bail him out. Those were hilarious memories. Christina smiled and tugged her shawl closer to her as the evening breeze crawled down the hillside full of water and salt and the evening chill. Soon she'd climb that small hill and enjoy the view while the charcoal took heat.

The party as such continued around her. She was aware most of the guests never felt the transition between the part that had been and the one that was about to be. To them it was one evening very much like a life is just one life lived.

Her grip on the shawl tightened. One life lived but for those of us who lived twice. For us there are endings where we lose everything and beginnings where we gain everything anew.

The dinner party had broken up. For all practical purposes the Swedish traditional midsummer's party came to an end.


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