The road is not slippery even though it is covered by a thick layer of dry snow. The air is clear. It is -15 Celsius and no forecast of snowfall. It will be a nice drive. We will get there on time.
The lake is frozen now and a thick layer of snow stops the noises that the ice layers makes. Cracks, pangs, and bubbling sound between water and ice. The snow is like a blanket that puts everything on hold until the temperature starts to rise, the days will get longer, and spring will push to open the door of the winter.
Over the years when passing by this wooden house near Kontiola, I have wondered whether it is abandoned or not. I never saw a light on in it. Now, in the winter, the window has a thick layer of ice which means that the house is not heated.
The house sits in the middle of a field. It keeps the grey and brown colour of old wood. There are a couple of pine trees next to it like standing guard. That’s it. Season after season the house stands there.
A family must have lived there? When was that? How long ago did they live? What was their life? Who was the last one living there? Did they have to clear the field from the forest? How hard was it to live there?
I guess it is my curiosity, but I wonder about these questions every time I pass next to it when I am in Eastern Finland visit our relatives
Some of the photos in this blog are not linked to the blog post I write. That is because I do not have the camera with me at all times. I am reviewing the photos I took in the end of the year in Eastern Finland, while getting on with life here in Tampere.
Early in the morning on Friday, I was out for the morning walk with our dog. I went to the park nearby on the lakeshore. At one point I was walking towards the woman who was also out with her dog. As usually, my dog got on alert and stopped. He would not move. The woman walk a bit more towards us and then stopped as well, her dog on alert as well. We were about 10 meters apart. She said something in Finnish which id di not get. I said anteekesi? (sorry?). She saw that I was not from here maybe from the accent, maybe from the way I look and shook her head moving with her dog into the deep snow on the side of the path. She did not want the dog to meet. She was walking in the deep snow and I said again anteeksi? She kept walking. I then said voit puhua! (you can talk!) She stopped. She was a bit distant now. Siad again something I did not catch and walked away.
I was upset when I turned around to walk towards home. I felt again as the foreigner. But what did it mean? Why did she get so upset? Why wouldn’t she make an effort to communicate with me? I kept walking, hearing the snow crunching under my boots in the sub-zero temperature. My dog kept sniffing things. Pulling right and left oblivious of the encounter we just had. it was just another dog.
I was still upset imagining reasons as to why she would have reacted like that towards me. Maybe she had a bad night. Maybe it was the dog walk after a night shits and she was super tired. Maybe she just doe snot like foreigners. Maybe she feels uncomfortable when she realises that she cannot use Finnish with another person.
I told myself to stop figuring out things that were impossible to figure out. There is certainly a story behind that person (See Gregory Bateson). Our stories touched for a brief moment and that’s is. No more and no less.
At the same time, I thought about the bus driver who politely greets passengers on the city busses. The guy who came to the door of the swimming pool and kindly explained to me that it was closed due to Covid.
I have many of these examples and want to remember them more than the encounter of Friday morning. They are part of the same system of complex interrelationships I live in.
As simple and complex as that.
I remember when the top of the Niinikumppu hill was full of trees. It had always been like that. Then, a couple of years ago during the summer, a strong storm hit the hill and many (if not most) of the old pine trees fell. Luckily no buildings were damaged. It took a while the clear the hill from the fallen trees. This morning I was walked past the hill and took the photo of the few trees that were strong enough to sustain the storm. The hill looks barren but it is recovering. In no time there will be younger trees next to the the ones.
The first day of the year. I am bed with running nose and maybe some temperature. The home C19 kit test gave a Neg result. I asked my daughters to take some photos when they went cross country skiing on the lake. The light must have been magical.
I followed the Euro thread and searched for Gareth Southgate interviews post final and post tournament. I also found this interview at a conference in Cambridge several months after the defeat in the Euro final. It is quite inspiring. He is achieving something more than football wins.
And thank you V for the great photo you took for me. Nice start of the year.
Happy new year to all!
Read this quite from the head of NASA: ‘We are all citizens of planet hearth.‘
Let’s stop messing up with the planet. Let’s look forward.
Happy new year to all of you, wherever you are.
I had an early walk this morning. The wind was strong and it carried new snow. After few minutes from the cottage where I am staying, I noticed an open patch in the forest. I never noticed before. They must have cleared the forest last summer. They left some of the smaller trees next the path but they do not hide the clearing which is now there. It will disappear again in 15 years or so when the pines trees will have regrown.
Today I found an interesting quote in an Italian book I am reading.
It is from Pascal and says (in Italian):
‘Pascal scrive che noi riusciamo a conoscere la verità non soltanto con la ragione, ma anche con il cuore. Però Pascal, con la parola cuore, non allude ai sentimenti, bensì alla capacità originaria di riconoscere l’evidenza.’
It is just past one pm here in Kontiola. I am walking on the frozen Pyhäjärvi. The sun has started to go down and it will be dark by three pm. The temperature is about -20C and the cold seems to have stopped all the sounds and movements. Everything is still and quiet. I hear my crunchy footsteps on the frozen snow. Look up to the horizon and feel happy to be part of all this.
Pyhäjärvi, Kontiola 2021
Waking up and enjoying a walk in the early morning before breakfast. Nice light these last few days