A few months ago started my mental trip to the place where I am now. Luosto is a small, incredibly small village in the far Finnish Lapland, more than one hundred kilometers far from a proper town. Why am I here? First of all, during my internet research (a special thanks to www.visitfinland.com for all the information and breathtaking pictures) I immediately fell in love with this peaceful place. Secondly it happens that we have the boldness of thinking that statistics can predict nature and so I got myself guided by a good chance to admire a colorful and surprising aurora borealis (here it happens 200 days a year)!
I already imagined myself crying while looking at the lights dancing in the sky and the camera standing on the tripod to help to capture them. Unfortunately it didn’t go like this.
This time I’m forced to surrender to nature, it’s not possible to control it. I’d prefered to start this post talking about my joy rather than trying to limit my disappointment for not having seen the sky lighted by stunning colors. Cloudy weather, day and night for 3 days and 4 nights.
Today a weak sunlight illuminates the white snow fell in last two weeks. My hope fires again and I imagine myself looking at aurora borealis the same night. Weather bulletin still confirms “cloudy” for all week, it’s better if I don’t trust in that weak sunlight too much.
So I’m forced to take the best of it, I’m in the middle of nowhere, everything is covered by one meter of snow, weather bulletin still not giving hope, but I realize I’m proud of myself.
I’m trying to position the puzzle pieces, looking for my inner balance constantly attacked by daily thoughts. My mobile is off, I’m relaxing reading a book, having a sauna, with snow hiking and cross country skiing. All things I could do at home, but here there are such different timings!
At the restaurant hotel dishes are late, but I don’t dare to ask for them to the waitress. I respect the timing to give room to the unscheduled. Why should I fill the agenda? I wake up when I want, get lunch as I wish, I can enjoy the fireplace or go out to take a walk. This is what I want, this is what I need.
I finally take control of my breath after months during which I realize I’ve not breathed properly. I look at the pines covered by snow from a wide window and I need nothing else. I think about lifestyles. Would it be better if I stop the chain in my mind and carpe diem?
During last days Mauri and me made some trips helped by a local tourist agency, a “family company” as the owners love to call it. The website of this agency was not so exciting as the ones of companies which usually take care of big organized groups. But definitely booking with “Kairankutsu call of wilderness” (www.kairankutsu.fi) was the best choice I could take.
The luck of a local guide just for us to cross woods with snowshoes and to spend a night waiting for aurora borealis is worthless.
During our first trip with snowshoes, young Lasse transmits us all his passion for his work, the love for his country and the respect for nature and old sayings and traditions.
The “sami”, are an ancient population of breeders, that have been leaving here for ages and keep protect their beliefs.
They believe the bear is a holy animal, that there is a life after death and, as they see a fallen tree oriented to the North, they turn around it three times hoping to become a bear in their next life.
Here, admits Lesse, “it is not simple dealing with daily routine. Shops are missing and to buy what is needed, we are forced to drive for more than 100km. On the other hand, here there is everything I need: wood, snow, animals and nature with its rhythm”. There is a kind of border after the Artic Polar Circle after which there is no need to be in rush.
Upon my question “What do you do when you don’t tour with tourists?”, he replies “I go with snowshoes, ski and fishing”. His smile tells me about his awareness of having left behind a 8am to 5pm work to chose real life.
Should I reconsider all my life? Is this real life or is it mine with deadlines, hurry and stress? I keep thinking about my daily routine as we go out with Lasse looking for aurora borealis.
Weather news still hopeless, let’s try anyway!
We drive for kilometers before Lasse decides what direction to take, taking his decision after looking at the clouds. Also this night the clouds are there to keep us hopeless. I have no chance but to surrender to this fact and appreciate what it may take.
After trying to escape from those threatening clouds, we rest in a wooden hut that with a big fireplace in its center. Lasse takes some wood offered by finnish government, properly displayed in a construction near to our refuge, and lights the fire with an astonishing simplicity which makes me think about the skills of a common italian boy of the same age. We talk as we prepare some tea and roast some sausages. Everything is done with a great calm while waiting that the clouds move from the sky above us.
With great surprise I find out I wish that that moment never ends.
According to Sami’s beliefs, there are three relaxing thing: looking an asleep kid, listening and watching at the river flow and enjoy the fireplace. And it is in this cosy and secret refuge that I feel like I’m in a dream, I’d really want it never ends.
Here in front of a fireplace in Lappish forest. Now all is quiet.