In May I was all about going somewhere, but now when the summertime started in Finland, I am more than happy that I can spend the whole month in here. The landscape is absolutely amazing this time of the year – all these greens and blues, talking about all the wild growing flowers, that makes the nature look like s candy shop.
So lets talk about summer life in Finland. It is true that during the summer we Finns are more vivid than in other seasons. It is logical, of course, but still: to see all these smiling people when the sun is shining, and you can spend most of the day outdoors, well it changes everything after the heavy and dark season.
For me and my family, I want to spend as much time as possible in my hometown in North, In Raahe. The summer life is so easy in a small town: every action is framed by simplicity. You don’t have to wait in a line, the grocery shop is near and cafés too. And the sea – only a couple of minutes ride a bike and you see it, you smell it. Also, there are a lot of summer activities in small places during holiday season, and normally they are not far away and over booked (so it easy to make last minute plans).
But of course there is something else, why I love spent time in Raahe: my roots are here. This is where I grow up. Everywhere in this environment there are hidden notes that whispers: do you remember this? Of course I do. I remember when I took this same road to my grandmother’s place (where my mother is living now), the hours that I spend in my local library or the café that we used to buy cinnamon rolls with my mother.
Now I get to share all this with my kids. I get them to create roots here, too. My daughter is playing at the same playground where are used to play when I was little girl. During the nighttime I read her same books that my mother did when I was young. She even found a drawing that I have done one of my old books.
The roots are important; they make you feel home and sense of being grounded somewhere. I love the idea that kind of way my kids are making their own paths here, memory marks that they hopefully remember later on in their lives.
Well, at least I keep repeating some paths that hopefully my kids will remember (even if later on we live some other country…)
So this is what I want my kids to adapt from the Finnish summer…
That we always traveled by train to North, and they remember how the landscape changes from south to north.
That summer meant a visit to my mother’s place.
That we went to have a picnic near by the sea in Mikonkari and picked up flowers.
That we took the bikes and just kept on riding. (I love the idea how easy it is to ride a bike in Finland, there are hardly any traffic in a small place and the roads are good.)
That we went to buy ice cream again and again. (Did you know that during the summer there a huge selection of different kind of ice creams at grocery shops? And those ice cream kiosk you can find everywhere.)
That we made a strawberry cake from the Finnish strawberries (it is a tradition).
That we went to have a walk in a forest.
That we did day trips near by.
Also, I hope my kids remember that we, parents, were relaxed and present with them. (And we had time to read and drink coffee on the terrace, and maybe even have a date night too.)
I hope they remember feeling happy and relaxed during the summer. ( I am sure I get opinion about this one day.
So above all this is what our summers are made of in Raahe. Of course we go sauna and swimming (if the water is not too cold, most of the time it is for me at least. I am not going to lie about this.)
Now, excuse me, there are little girl waiting for me to go and buy an ice cream for her. In this moment I couldn’t find a better excuse to close my computer.