Spring in Finland

Greetings from Finland on this first day of spring! It snowed a bit last night, but today it is sunny and I just had to turn the radiator in my room down because sunlight is streaming through my windows, keeping me warm.

Since it looks as if I will be in Finland for the foreseeable future, I thought it would be a good opportunity to post positive and affirming things about the Arteles Residency, the artists I’ve met (many who had to return home early), the surrounding areas, and my experiences (including rolling in the snow naked on the night of our first sauna! – happy to say, no photos!).

I’m perfectly safe here, probably on a scale of 1-10, I’m at a 9.5 (we do have to go grocery shopping occasionally), and the generous people at the residency have invited those of us who either don’t need to travel, or can’t travel due to their home country’s regulations, to bunk up here and keep making art. I wasn’t planning on returning to Canada until July, but obviously, I’m not going to the UK for my (canceled) cat-sits either, so here I stay. I plan to write, cook, meditate, walk in the woods, drink salty licorice liquor with my new friends, and experience Finland in spring. Also, count my blessings.

Today, I’m posting a few photos from our group walk yesterday afternoon at the nature reserve. I’m including a photo of the sign over the path, but I honestly don’t know if it says the name of where we were, or possibly KEEP OUT, or maybe even Watch for Moomintrolls. My Finnish is pretty much nonexistent. I can say: Hei and Moi. Hei is more like “hello” while moi is friendlier and casual…it’s a greeting for the trail…”hi!” Finnish is something else I might start working on. Perhaps I will include a Finnish Word of the Day when I blog.

I loved all of this 2.5 hour walk yesterday, but one thing that I thought was especially great were the fire pits along the way…if you were cold, you could stop and build a fire in one…wood provided! Or add a log to one already going. If you’d followed Finnish protocol, you’d undoubtedly have a sausage or two in your pocket for roasting over the campfire, too.

Several of us who were on the walk have since gone home or are in transit, others will leave in the next few hours…we all know how lucky we are to be here (or have been here), but it’s pretty sad too. Still, we will meet again. Enjoy the photos!

This article was written by Joelle