The calm during the storm

As the storm rolls in, the thunder rumbles and the rain surrounds me. I get wet… but I feel a calmness for the first time since I arrived on Karingon.

Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle. A journalist for more than 20 years, he's been travelling the world since 2011.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle and has been travelling full time for a decade.


Käringön, Sweden

I’m getting wet. Very wet.

The clouds have been rolling in for a while, gradually turning the sky into a dark mess of portentous swirls.

I’ve been watching them, expecting this moment. But, still, when the rain finally hits, it happens so suddenly I am taken by surprise.

That’s why I’m wet. But why am I very wet?

Well, that’s because there’s no shelter nearby. Out on the rocks, on the coast of the small Swedish island of Käringön, there are no trees.

It’s at least a hundred metres to any kind of shelter – probably further – and to make it that distance I need to scramble over the boulders and across the large cracks.

And, you know what, I’m not sure I even want to go in search of somewhere dry.

Karingon island, Sweden

Despite the cracks of thunder booming overhead, the crescendo as the rain bangs down onto the ground, and the wind rushing around me, things are calm.

I’ve been tired exploring Käringön. This beautiful little island is a holiday destination for local Swedes but there are very few hotels.

Much of the land is covered by houses and most visitors rent these to stay for a few days or a week with their family and friends.

I’m here alone and, although I’m only exploring for an afternoon – getting a boat over after lunch, it feels lonely not being a part of one of these social groups.

The rain has brought a reenergising power with it down from the heavens.

Karingon island, Sweden

Perhaps it’s a physical reaction I’m having – like when a cold shower shakes you into the day. But I think it’s also the colours and shapes that have formed on the canvas of landscape surrounding me.

The sky is so striking, the puddles forming everywhere resemble a house of mirrors, the rocks glisten and plants reach out for hydration.

Electricity is in the air but it’s more than just the lightning. It crackles through me and brings a mental clarity.

Karingon island, Sweden

And so I let myself soak – even shiver a bit. I look around, I take it all in, and there’s a reassuring beauty in what I can now see so clearly.

The storm brought darkness to the island but light to my visions.

With my camera I capture the moments the clouds form, the onset of the rain, and the aftermath as the crispness hangs in the air.

I hope these photos show you what I see in these moments. The calm during the storm.

Karingon island, Sweden
Karingon island, Sweden
Karingon island, Sweden
Karingon island, Sweden
Karingon island, Sweden
Karingon island, Sweden
Karingon island, Sweden
Karingon island, Sweden
Karingon island, Sweden

Time Travel Turtle was a guest of the West Sweden Tourist Board but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.

9 thoughts on “The calm during the storm”

  1. Wow – these are stunning photos. I can see why you’d feel calm here, even without the storm.

    But I know exactly what you mean – sometimes I find that being faced with some huge part of nature can calm you, because you almost step outside yourself in the face of it. I had this same experience earlier this year at The Chasms on the Isle of Man: sheer cliffs cracked all the way down to the sea below. The scale of it was breathtaking, and I suddenly felt like my own feelings didn’t really matter in the face of it. Sounds almost depressing, but actually it was strangely calming. I think a storm could have the same effect.

    Käringön looks beautiful too. Must be a great place to spend a few days just relaxing. I think that’s what I love about islands – there’s rarely any pressure except to relax! 🙂


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