It’s another cold autumn day. The gorgeous colors are still here but the temperatures are going down so quickly that I had to go through the closets to find my gloves. After school my sons and I find refuge by the fire place, adoring the flames on the sun dried birch logs. Sometimes this time of the year makes me feel like a mom cat with kittens. And I can’t stop wondering how those two who are always on the go, curl up next to me and are all prepared to do nothing for the whole evening. Just two weeks ago I wasn’t able to convince them to wear shoes or to stay put even for half an hour. And now we are gradually entering the hibernation mode.
My youngest goddaughter had her first birthday on Saturday. She had just learned how to walk and how to use the spoon. Suddenly a baby had turned into a toddler. There is something most captivating in the wobbly first steps and the persistence in practice. The urge to discover and conquer, to learn and to challenge yourself. Just a few weeks ago my son announced that he had learned to read. I have never before seen him so happy in relief. It was his greatest fear that he would never learn how to read, and there was no way of convincing him otherwise. He has been practicing all autumn ever since he started the first grade and books have always been his greatest passion. Now that the clog has been removed there is no end to spelling. Road signs, cereal boxes, t-shirts and caps. Joy of learning like fireworks in the sky.
On the way to my goddaughter’s party I heard a fascinating interview on the radio. It was one of the most famous authors in Finland, called Tuomas Kyrö, who was interviewed about writing and being a writer. The interviewer asked him what inspires him the most to writing. He burst out in heartfelt laughter and said that inspiration is a myth. That nothing comes to anyone without hard work. In order to write a novel, one has to write and write and write. And then gradually the story starts to take form. For him, just to sit and wait for an inspiration would be ludicrous and a waste of time. I have to agree. And isn’t that the most comforting thought as well?
Today must be the most beautiful day of the year. I am already sad about September ending soon. I have been awfully busy with teaching, meeting parents, setting up courses for teachers and driving my sons around God’s creation. And when I was just about to end the most stressful week of them all, I caught a cold and had to stay at home and rest. It is amazing how our bodies look after themselves. Mine has discovered that the only way to keep me off work is to take away my voice. A friend of mine destroyed her vocal cords for good when she ignored her flu and kept on talking to the class with a hoarse voice. Now she teaches with a microphone even in a small classroom. I have decided to take good care of mine. This flu forced me to rest, and I think I really needed it. I realized it after sleeping two days in a row. I had understood that I was too tired but when there are things you have to do, there just isn’t a way around them. Being stressed out isn’t a glorious state. It is like being chased in loud noise. Just this one thing, then I’m set. But there is always another thing after it.
Today I went to see the mushrooms, and there they were by the miniature creek just half a mile from our house. They were so cute I almost regretted picking them. But if I hadn’t, someone else would have. They always appear in the same place, I’m sure there’ll be more tomorrow. I only pick chanterelles and winter mushrooms because they are the only kind that I can identify with hundred percent certainty. It would be a drag to poison the whole family with some cute fungi. I do have a mushroom app in my iphone that I’ve tried to use in the forest but it just adds to my fears when almost every description ends with a warning like “easily confused with…”. Chanterelles and winter mushrooms are a delicacy, and there are so many of them in our forests that there will always be plenty left even though many Finns do their best collecting them.
Today I feel like I’ve recharged me. I still have the flu but I have also found my thoughts in the peaceful Sunday forest. There are things to be done and I will start doing them tomorrow. Even if I realize that there is going to be another stressful period ahead, there is nothing I can do about it. I can’t detach myself from the people and things happening around me. And I wouldn’t even want to. I’m just holding onto these timeless days to balance it all out.
For me this is the best part of the year. Cool and misty mornings, gentle warmth and gorgeous sunsets in the evenings. It has all been done. Flowers grown, seeds sown, young raised and crop harvested. Each warm day feels like a bonus, a surprise present when you are not expecting to get one any longer. After the nameless and hour-less days of summer there is suddenly order for things. The order that reminds you of where you belong and how far you’re able to reach. The order that is so dear and welcome but does not let you let you off easy. The order that is inevitable, but also necessary for us to be able to enjoy the time without it. In September, when the light is soft and low, time stands still for a moment for us to remember how it all was, turning memories into expectations. Until we meet again.
It has been cool and breezy around here lately. It is good to have such summer weather every now and then, not to get tired of the heat and to get something done. I have been trying to revive my dying laptop. No hope in sight. It seems that I will have to get by with the iPad for the time being. At least until the next commission. They say we will get another warmer period starting tomorrow and that sounds like the perfect time to get our garage painted. So due to my laptop not working and the garage waiting to be painted, I will not be online that much. When the school starts in August, I will have three jobs and it will probably mean less writing time for me. I teach in a junior high school,I have also been asked to give courses to other teachers and I have also been getting more photo commissions. I am still looking forward to every small chance I have to write.
With this blog I have been trying out different text types. In the archives you will find argumentative posts, travel stories, descriptive fiction and poetic prose. I don’t really feel like concentrating on just one of these, and I hope to continue with trying out many different things. I am grateful for all my readers for supporting me in my creative adventures and I hope that I haven’t confused you too much with what is real and what is not. I love making the borders blurry but I hope to confuse you in an enjoyable way. Most probably many people come back to see just the photos, and that is great too. I love writing but as a non-native speaker of English I do have a humble attitude to it. If I had to choose, I would just take photos and write. But luckily teaching and giving courses is also fun. I am also planning to travel more soon, I will most definitely write about my adventures as well. So be well and enjoy creating! I hope to see you here again soon!
There are blue layers in the sky, like brush strokes on canvas. Striped sky on display for us to admire. Not quite the kind that would make lightning but the kind that could feel like rain. Clouds keep moving north, like a train of thought they wander across the horizon. They will pass in the distance, leaving us dry and warm.
We sit under a tree and talk. Sharing. A shadow of a branch softly sweeps the ground. The wheat and rye fields under the striped horizon strech out to the borders of new villages. There is nothing more soothing than watching the sun and the wind caress the softly moving sea, either this one with ripening crop or the real one.
While listening to your stories from far away places I see us drifting in a small boat on the sea of rye. Waiting for the next harbor to come our way to bring us new adventures. I tell you this and we laugh. Two sailors on the sea of rye.
Like a dream it begins, a new summer night. Just like the others, but still anew. I hear you humming a song next to me. I song that I can’t quite catch. A warm tune that could make any place feel like home. We are keeping still, still as the crops tenderly swaying, in the light night.
Even the smallest of all the words seems too much in this night where everything grows in meaning. Our path is never-ending. It keeps circling and winding by the riverside, through the meadows and around the fields. Wheat, rye, barley, oat. Boat, house, pier, barn. Bird, wasp, spider, ant. The sound of gravel under our feet, and it is all said without a word. And then the first ray of morning.
If I ever lost my passion, I could find it right here in these fields. I would just have to wait for the breeze to bring it to me. I would let the wind whisper me soothing words, echoes of past and promises of yet to come. And I would be waiting for you to hear it too.