The Mind Is Its Own Place

We are still in the middle of the influenza peak season and my family has really got its share this year. I thought we were on clear water already but no. My son was hospitalized because of pneumonia last Wednesday and they also took out his appendix due to severe stomach pain. I stayed in the hospital with him and we returned home yesterday. He is still very weak but recovering. I have also had a bad flu and I’m staying in safely tucked in the sofa.

Heart of Winter

We are having yet another blizzard and watching the whiteness out of my window makes me think of the time when we were on holiday in the eastern Finland and we stopped to eat in a hotel. It was an old manor house that was surrounded by snow and nearly empty because it wasn’t tourist season yet. And it was so quiet. All the restaurants in the hotel were closed but we were allowed to sit there in an empty and unlit dining hall and eat the food we had brought. Our kids were running up and down the corridors, their voices echoing from the walls. We were glad to be inside from the cold for awhile and ready to continue our adventure after our very extraordinary lunch. Thinking about that place now makes me wonder if it really existed or if I had dreamed it. Or maybe seen in a movie.


People have tried so hard to harness all the powers into their own use, to be able to control what happens next and to be able overcome obstacles. Still there will always be things that are out of our reach. We can’t make us not get sick. We can’t turn the blizzard off. At least for now. We adjust and try to be resourceful. If we can’t go anywhere physically, we can do it in our minds. A friend just told me about reading a book that took her into that world in such an intense way that she feels like she knows the people in the story personally. Or we can try to see the situation differently. Like my son did in the hospital. On Friday night he told me to ring the nurse to bring him hot chocolate, and he said that he doesn’t want to go home because it’s almost like staying in a nice hotel. I didn’t ring the nurse, after all I don’t think they have room service in hospitals, but next day when I told this story to the nurse, she laughed and said that last week one of their patients gave them four stars. It was the childrens’ ward so I’m sure they try to pitch in to make it a pleasant place so that the kids won’t be afraid if they have to come back. I have stayed in that hospital before when our younger son was born and it was really nice that time also. And to imagine that health care is free of charge here in Finland, well we do pay lots of taxes, but still. Hats off to Finnish health care system and the devoted hard-working people that work there!


Today I will embark on escapism by daydreaming of my future adventures. I have started already by spending the morning pinning my earlier trips on GoogleMaps. I got this idea from a blogger-trekker-friend Chris this morning when I was reading his blog. Lots of unpinned territories on my map, where to go next…? My mind is going to take me off this blizzard and this cold to faraway places now, have a wonderful weekend everyone!

p.s. Oh, and I have got more blogger awards, thanks so much Rebekah and Otto.

28 thoughts on “The Mind Is Its Own Place

  1. So sorry to hear of all the sickness and hospitalization, and I hope you pull through and get well soon. I can just picture you and the family in that hotel … and it does sound like a scene from a movie that I almost feel as though I’ve seen. Probably from also spending time in out of season places with children …
    Get well soon …


  2. I had a sort of thought about 10 years ago about a group of people individually scattered about the world, who all entered their own dreams and found others who shared them. Your experience is not unique, and yet it is. You might like reading Haruki Murakami, but in the meantime come to read my latest blog entry (still waiting its final edit, so it will change a bit this morning) but in terms of dreams, we are some of the same mind. I asked a friend about this last night, about these sort of improbably surrealistic occurrences happening, ones I’ve not yet written about…and she assured me that this is the way normal is supposed to feel, and when I thought about it, I agreed: of course when we are in a natural, unexpecting state, unhinged from structural framework and yet centereed and doing what we have to to, by instinct, and connected to our physical needs, why would we not be in a state of balance with the world, so that our dreams become reality, and vice versa. (I’ll put my dream about the genji in the roadside cave overhang, waiting for me, in my writing queue!) I follow very few blogs, actually right now, only one (!) as I’m new to blogging. I had my doubts about it but it makes perfect sense now. 😉


      1. I hope you enjoy. I am very connected with nature but with a different expression than yours. You might enjoy in the archives “Nature, Retreat!” Near the bottom it gets serious about nature, and what it can do to one’s soul and disposition. I try to always approach truth with humor, as when one is laughing, it’s easier to be vulnerable. Something that can make a person laugh can also be trusted.


  3. I’m sorry about your son 😦 I hope he’ll get well soon. Sending you all digital healing power.
    Thank you for those great photos! I’m looking forward to your exiting adventures. I always live them through your photos and the way you describe things makes me empathize even stronger. I really like it 🙂


  4. Hei Annika, you and your son get well soon!
    Your Blog is exactly the one I was looking for. Thank you and greetlings from Germany, (where it also was snowing today), Elke


  5. Hey Annika.

    Wishing good health to you and your family. As for the google mapping, it can get rather addictive planning where to go next. My wishlist has suddenly become endless 🙂


  6. Your photos are beautiful, never been (yet?) in Finland which is on my wish list. Your son with his request for an hot chocolate let me smile and I think it’s a good sign he is on the way to recover soon. Beside photography movies are among my passions and I have sometimes the same “crossing” between memories, movies and real life. I think it is a good thing. Unfortunately we pay as well many taxes (at least the ones of us who pay, like myself) but the “service” is not always very good. Better trying to stay healthy.


  7. Hi Annika,

    I hope that your son is healing and that you are feeling better. Best wishes for a swift recovery. As always, your photographs are beautiful, and your words are food for thought.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s