Saturday, 19 August 2017

By the lake

The summer holiday in Finland is over, but the collection of moments and details from the familiar places will be actively in my mind for the next months. Later all will be stored together with the other lifetime memories from my spiritual Nordic home and reminding me that I clearly have roots somewhere near the big forests, hills and lakes.

It was great to do a bit of rowing by the lake.

Silent sunset late in the evening.

Every time we visit Finland, I want to share something of this background to my children. They have already lived most of their lives in two other countries and now it seems we are going to stay in Holland. The concept of "family roots" or "personal roots" is more complicated for the children from multicultural background. But it is important to learn to be proud of the different aspects of your genes, the language and the culture. Something that is part of you, something that can surprise you in that somehow familiar environment. When I watched my children on our holiday, it felt like they intuitively knew how to play and enjoy the simple elements of Nature. 

Fishing mood

It felt good to talk about the ancestors and to see how the kids were in one sunny day playing stone age and forgot their smart phones for few hours. The peace of the landscape was inspiring all of us and one of the best moments of the day was warming up the wooden Sauna or having a breakfast at the long pier, where the mosquitos were not teasing us.

Playing stone age, but making a modern smoothie from the local flowers. Not for drinking :-)

The water surface looked like a big painting or a gate to the other dimension when there was no wind.

Many earlier times in Finland, we had slept badly in Hotel rooms and visiting too many people. This time the holiday felt like a holiday, because we were more selfish by staying a longer time at the Summer Cottage. We stayed at the Vuokatti in Kainuu, near the area I am originally coming from. The summer was late this year, so we just came at the right time to see all the flowers that I know from my childhood and had some of the rare warm summer days in 2017. 

The wooden Church of Sotkamo.
The whole experience of being in your home country for a while is quite spiritual. When I am away, I seem to forget many details of the Nature and the everyday life. It all comes back during the visits and you are so ready and willing to find all the familiar things those used to make you feel good and still have the same effect on you.

The sandy beach in Sotkamo, many minimalistic treasures to find.

I really like the pine trees and the surface full of arctic berries to pick. Unfortunately they were still too raw to eat.

Our journey continued back to South and Helsinki through the eastern part of Finland. We made a visit to Koli, a high hill area in Lieksa with monumental landscapes around the lake Pielinen. You can have a nice hike in a rocky landscape following the  marked routes. These landscapes has inspired many Finnish artists and the open view is a National symbol of freedom and independency. The geological history of this area is interesting and the National park of Koli is a great place for the outdoor lovers in every season. 

Rocky perspective towards the east and direction Russia behind the Ukkko-Koli.

One other nice stop on our East Finland route was the town of Savonlinna. The Castle of Olavinlinna is located by the water near the city Centre of Savonlinna. This part of Finland has lot of water and lakes. The lake Saimaa is a very big connecting element in this part of Finland. The car drive along the lakes and crossing the Saimaa lake via the historical road of Punkaharju ridge is a beautiful experience.

The Castle Olavinlinna in the town of Savonlinna.
The Finland time ended in Helsinki, which used to be my home for 14 years. It was nice to see my old home street and walk the familiar routes. Unfortunately I did not make many photos in there, but will make another story some other time when I will visit Helsinki again.

The most memorable moments for me were the silent mornings and evenings by the lake in Kainuu. I hope the summer time has been good for everyone and depending on where ever we are and what season we have at the moment...let's not forget to enjoy the peace and energy  the Nature has to offer.