Sauna Evening

Hello, everyone! I hope you are all off to a good start of the week. Friday last week, Lilli, Jay, Loke and I went to Panelia, which is about an half-hour drive from here. It’s where Jay’s mother grew up and where one of her brothers–who is also Jay’s godfather–lives with his wife. I have been there many times over the years and they are lovely people. Regardless, I still get funny when we go to meet with others. Nervous or anxious. And more often than not I have to battle with myself, remind myself that it will pass. Because it does get better. I get so irritated with myself for it, though. A few years ago I would end up staying home, so it has gotten much better, but the feeling–the knot of unease in my stomach–is awful. Do you ever feel like that?

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The tynnyrisauna. Barrel sauna.

I imagine that going to sauna is one of the signifying habits of Finns. Did you know they even have competitions to see who can stay the longest? I think I only went to sauna a handful of times before I moved here, and as far as I can remember, the saunas I visited in Sweden weren’t this hot. My favourite is the sauna at the summer cottage; it’s milder somehow. All that said, when in Finland, sooner or later you acclimatise. Haha

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We had the nicest evening in Panelia. The weather was beautiful, even though it got really cold once the sun set. Jay and his godfather went between the terrace and the barrel sauna for what seemed like hours. Lilli and I sat inside and talked to Jay’s godfather’s wife. She is from Sri Lanka and told me a lot about her family back home. She is the warmest, happiest person. I love just listening to people sharing their life stories–a good reminder for when I get anxious about leaving my home!

Once sauna was done, we grilled and talked in their warm kitchen.

Jay’s godfather is a photographer, and it was so nice to finally get to talk to him about photography. We looked at some of the photos I have taken, and I didn’t know what to do with myself when he gave me so many lovely words of praise. Face to face it becomes like rain on a sunny day, and all I could do was blink, smile, and nod. Haha

Jay’s godfather and I seem to share the same love for light, and he even gave me some ideas and shared a little “secret”. One I will have to try. In the end he offered me his zoom lens to borrow–a lens I have never tried! I was so excited about it and finally got to try it a little yesterday evening. I’ll show you a few of those photos in my next post.

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My beautiful Lilli. ❤

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Since I don’t really drink these days, I am the designated driver. On our way home, we had a police car behind us the entire way. Once upon a time I used to get so anxious I felt like peeing my pants in those situations, haha. And then, when we turned off onto the gravel road a couple of minutes from home, the police flashed their lights. Apparently I was driving too peacefully, which the kind policeman emphasised is a good thing. I got to blow for an alcohol test which obviously came out clear. 😉

Next time, I will try the barrel sauna, too. I couldn’t this time, due to delicate reasons, so I wandered around with my camera for a little while. Do you go to sauna where you live?

I wish you all a lovely day. Much love. ❤

Roadside Treasures

Hello, everyone. I sat here this morning and looked outside my window. I looked at the dew still resting in the arms of branches, balancing on the tips of leaves on a small maple. Every once in a while the sun broke through the clouds and it was like a symphony of light and brilliance as the drops danced. A glitter of reflection. Nature is so generous like that. It doesn’t really matter where I am. I don’t have to travel to faraway lands, I do not need to gaze at the horizon and wish and wonder what adventures await me there.

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A short moment, but a passing wind of light rain swept across the fields. How beautiful it is when rain falls as the sun watches and lights up every drop–thousands upon thousands–as they rush to the ground.

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I sat in our kitchen yesterday morning for the longest time. The house so silent, resting now in summer. As the cold sets in, the wooden timber in the walls creaks and cracks as it shifts and draws into itself to huddle against the northern winds. In spring, it’s the same, but instead it stretches after a long, hard winter, and finally exhales a breath of relief. It is still, possibly reveling in the warmth once more.

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I sat there all alone for so long, but not once did I feel lonely. Just around the corner, Loke would stretch at times, sigh, and go back to sleep. The tick-tock of the clock, the hum of the refrigerator in tune with the birds chattering amongst themselves leaking through the walls. I could see the road from across the fields, but the sound of cars barely reaches over the distance. And most likely majority of the people were still in their beds or just waking up from Midsummer festivities.

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It hit me, then, how much I adore these quiet moments. A slow morning when suddenly I just sync with everything around me. I took it all in and noted my gratefulness, listened to the scritch-scribble-sctrach as my pen followed the lines, danced along to this subtle morning symphony. I am happy. I am at peace. I feel content–right here, right now.

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Later in the day, once the rain let up, I took my camera and walked along the road that leads from our house. I don’t know exactly how long the road is, but I walked along between a hundred and two hundred meters of it and found so many treasures.

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In the evening, while marvelling at this simple beauty nestling just outside our door, I read a post on Instagram by one of the many amazing photographers I follow there. Forrest Winants Smith / @lostintheforest. He asked what gets us outside? What makes us appreciate the outdoors? I have mentioned this before, in Shaped By Thousands Of Years. I said, then, that these fields of ours, while beautiful in their own way, could not compare to the mountain vistas of the High Coast. The thing is, though, that they can–this is our beloved nature, too. The same magic rests here.

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The spirit of nature isn’t exclusive to towering mountain ranges and sloping valleys, nor does it hide in only specific places. Nature is everywhere, and its wisdom speaks to my soul wherever I may be. Whenever. I just have to stop and listen and it will open me up to all the aspects. Along this little roadside I find perspective. In these simple treasures I find wonder.

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