Sunday, 8 September 2019

From France to Finland and back HOME

It is great to see new places and be surprised of the sceneries and details you find. On a holiday you have more time to watch and wonder. Our summer went very fast this year and mostly because we were so extremely active this time. Even it was a bit too much to go here and there, I felt totally relaxed after our traveling. At the same time this was not the most ecological thing to do. 

Compared to this fully booked summer, our daily life is quite simple: we walk and cycle to school and work instead of using a car, recycle, try to eat more vegetables, consider what we shop, do not take a shower every day:),the heating goes on only in very cold days, we turn off the lights when not in the room and try to educate ourselves being more sustainable family. We enjoy the basic things in life! Our children are more aware of the environment than we ever were. It is still hard not to feel quilty about flying so many times during this summer holiday. But otherwise my son would have not gone to rugby camp to Ireland and got some new friends from there, we would have not spent a nice holiday with our friends in France and we would have not seen my parents in Finland. 

I don't want my children to be afraid of life and afraid of making choices that can make them grow, bloom and get more open to the life. We can never do enough to please the world and we never stop feeling guilty if we just concentrate on the negative side of our time. I rather try and want to see the things that I do right. I want to continue seeing the beauty in life and believe in good developments. Things are getting complicated, more background information is needed even making a simple decision. For example what milk substance to buy?: amandelmilk, rice milk, cashew milk, oat milk ...which is the most ecological, the most tasty and the healthiest choice? Living with all the daily information is sometimes overwhelming. And many news are focused on just finding the problems and not the solutions.

In the end these are luxurious and small problems. The most of the people have much more heavier things to get over with, or live with. I just read that the amount of homeless people in Netherlands and Amsterdam have been growing a lot lately. That is sad. Many personal tragedies behind these stories and also a lack of affordable  apartments and shortage of suitable support for the people who are in risk to losing their homes. I see often an older man at the park nearby sleeping on a bench. He comes there regularly late in the evening and goes away the time that I normally wake up. He is a calm  man, seems to enjoy the peaceful spot by the water. I don't see him in the winter time, there must be a shelter where he goes in during  the cold months. Anyway my point is that this problem is excisting also in Amsterdam. While writing this I got a message from my husband who is for the first time in his life in India for a work. He is staying in Pune 130 km from Mumbai, the biggest city of India (18 miljoen people living in Mumbai). He says it's brutal to see the very poor areas where people are more or less living on the street, the endless looking slums around the cities. The scale of the poverty in our planet is huge. About 8% of the population is living in extreme poverty. The richest part has a chance to consider their use of money and use of power.I wish better choices for everyone.

Check out the growth of poverty in here: World poverty clock

My story seems to be more serious this time than I meant, but all these things have been bothering me last year. Maybe it is some sort of crisis, that I don't really know how I would like to spent the rest of my life. Getting more heavy, I know. I also see how much on performance our life is based on. How much we expect also from our children, how you have to prove yourself from the early years. So much focused on numbers and "hard working". The good feeling should be then the result of a hard work, reaching the set goals, getting more black on white prove on your history of existence. Maybe I am just jealous for the ones who did see it so clearly from the start and were so sure what they wanted. I have always been more like an observer, considering the different ways of seeing things and had difficulties to understand the black and white filter on issues. I often meet people that are very sure about their own opinions. Sometimes it seems to be like a blessing, easier to focus and stay on that one path. These frustrations I mentioned are normal in our modern world. If you have to struggle surviving from day to day instead, you don't have time for this soul search. 

The most happiness often comes from nonmaterial things if you're basic needs are filled (food, home etc.). I understand the importance of orientation for some goals in sake of mental happiness. At the moment I am searching for a good goal I think, something personal and with a good meaning.

What matters to me the most is my own family and the HOME. At the same time I feel that nowadays we share too little with others. I have started to see more and more value on those friendships that lasted the distance and difficult times too. They last even through our vulnerabilities, clumsy words and mistakes. But honestly said, I should put more effort on those friendships too. It is good for you and your family life - some outside kicks from great people!

modern architecture in Arles
Anyway, our trip to France with our friends was relaxing. The kids loved our swimming pool in Sausset les Pins and we spent a lot of time in our holiday house. One day we drove to Arles to see some history and feel the atmosphere of Provence from the other perspective. It was a wonderful day to walk the narrow streets and have a nice lunch on one of the old squares. Vincent van Cogh was spending a short and a very productive period in Arles and made many  of his famous paintings there. We were eating just beside the yellow house with a terrace, which you can see in one of his paintings(Cafe terrace at night). Now it is a touristic spot, but I let my mind to wonder over a hundred years back in time. South French light and colors have inspired so many artists. The combination of modernity and the history has always inspired me. I love to watch the modern architecture, but as much I appreciate the feel of the different layers of time. The word is full of magical stories and that magic I would like to feel more often.

Roman ruins

the Arena from Roman times in Arles

We spent the last pages of our summer in Finland, my original home. It is wonderful to feel the familiarity everywhere (especial in the nature) and meet the people you can in that short period of time. We stayed at a beautiful location near Sotkamo. I never get tired of the lake views: 24 hours of small, delightful surprises from the nature. My old friend came for a visit one day. She asked if I felt like home in Amsterdam? It was a difficult one. My soul landscapes are in Finland and I feel so easy there. I miss it sometimes enormously. But when we came back to Amsterdam I felt like HOME. Not because of the location, but because the family. Just knowing everyone is doing their thing and being there for everyone if needed and even when we want to be alone. The identity is changing through our experiences and this means staying curious is a good thing. Home is a place to find the balance between the crossing journeys and thoughts.

The most peaceful moments by the lake this summer

The home can mean different things and maybe there is just not one home. But home is a good and safe place to return. Having a break and seeing some other stories out there can help us feeling home right now and right here.