After years exploring the idea of belonging, I came to terms with the fact that it has much more to do with a state of mind than with a physical place. Also, the longer I live in the UK, the less I feel the need to fit in with the Brazilian and Swedish cultures, which were the cultural pillars of my upbringing. Visiting Brazil, after a few years away, gave me a new perspective on my home country.
Despite not having had a close relationship with nature in Brazil, while growing up, the rain forest wasn’t something new to me. Still, the hike I went on in the South of Bahia, in the middle of the rain forest, to reach a secluded beach, really impressed me.
The abundance and exuberance of the plants and the wide diversity of species were striking. On top of that, the natural light in Brazil is completely different from the natural light in the Northern hemisphere. It is intense, harsh and full of contrasts. Yet, because of the density of the foliage, the light in the forest was rather complex, with spots of direct sunlight contrasting with harsh shadows, and softly and indirectly lit areas. This was a sacred place, in which nature was in full control.