In an effort to rebelliously confront the melancholy December weather I took off to a forest path. There was nothing fluffy or silky about that day. The icy path below my feet sneared at my struggle not to slip and the prickly branches whipped my arms whenever they had a chance. Nature was trying to be as unattractive as it possibly can. I decided to fight it. I wouldn’t let it.
In the darkest of all dark days, when the clouds had covered the sky for such a long time that our eyes had grown accustomed to seeing in half-dark and the plants had given up hope ever to produce chlorophyll again, I entered a snowy clearing in the middle of some majestic spruces. An assemblage of dead wildflowers rose from beneath the snow, desperately still trying to offer their seeds for the passing birds. In Finnish we call these half-blackened robust plants ‘talventörröttäjä’, ‘talven’ meaning ‘belonging to winter’ and ‘törröttäjä’ meaning ‘the one that is sticking out’. I have always found them a delightful reminder of perseverance and resourcefulness, and their Finnish name endearing. In that quiet clearning there was no sun and no blue sky, only the dead plants quivering in the wind.
A closer look at the plants, however, revealed a brief comfort for the weary winter person. There was glitter and gleam and glamour in that microcosmos and a phenomenal array of subtle tones to accompany. As so many times before this was the moment when I lost track of time and place.
Although it didn’t seem much at first, nature provided me with an enormous set of beauty to devour, even that miserable hour. Refreshed I returned home.