Last week, on a crispy morning when the nearby mountaintops shined brightly with the season’s first layer of virgin snow, I picked up Skiexpo tickets from my mailbox and noticed how the everyday going got bit lighter again. North Country Finland, and especially Lapland, your girl is coming home! And […]
On Saturday the snow started to fall from the sky above Helsinki. The big freeze was over and big, heavy but fluffy flakes took the place, falling down, swirling and dancing in the air, looking like they’d not really know what to do or where to go; to fall down and cover everything there or to go with the flow, dance dance dance and sail away. The white covered the people also, going in bars and coming out from bars, hugging and kissing their (our) loved ones and admiring the white, christmassy scenery.
This morning I was sitting at the communal* table at Scandic Park (good hotel in Helsinki, btw) having my breakfast, cup of coffee in my hands** and BBC World reporting how New Yorkers were copying with their snow blizzard***. It was one of those moments and sceneries of respite; when all you can and should do is sit there enjoying the serenity.
Like the flakes I don’t exactly know what I’m doing and where I’m going. Life’s smooth sailing when you let the snow to shut down the hustle. The last five days have brought to me lots of hustle, many new acquaintances and ideas, raising my wanderlust to the high risk level. Nevertheless I noticed this trust also, the trust that even though nothing is sure and we live in the middle of very turbulent times, everything is going to be ok. New marvelous adventures and possibilities are waiting us just around the corner, hiding there between the pillows of snow. For so privileged we are.
When the snow covers our neighborhood
Earlier on I had taken some slow laps in the hotel pool, snow piling up on the window sills and parts of the roofs which I could see from the pool located at 9th floor (another great thing with this particular hotel). Later on, after swim, before coffee, I sat in the sauna watching the snow fall like a big white curtain before Helsinki skyline. There in the sauna a lady (who briefly explained to me it was her first time ever in sauna) asked me how long I normally “sauna”, which made me realize I haven’t really thought about it. For me, sauna is for the sense of respite. I sit there quiet (when alone), enjoy the warmth and forget to count the seconds, minutes or hours.
Like these winter Sundays, sauna seems to bring that soothing sense of solitude and respite. No wonder they sometimes prefer to sauna as holy, church like place. And no wonder (quiet) Sundays still have so special, almost holy meaning in our modern societies.
At the Nordic Travel Fair, where I’d spend the previous days, wellness (especially the Finnish kind of) was raised up as the thing in travel right now. And I, if someone, have started the year living that trend to the fullest. While sitting on the bus on my way back north, I thought how for me this trip definitely was a wellness travel one. I didn’t eat especially healthy nor did I do any sports (if and when we don’t count the brief, almost casual hotel room yoga) but still, the weekend did the trick and ended with this feeling of wellbeing. Maybe because if something, wellness is to be in peace with yourself and your surroundings. Maybe because it’s not just about the physical but also or even more about the mental wellbeing.
All of this is highly recommended for you too to try. In the best possible scenario, you too would already have had as peaceful, relaxed Sunday or at least some moments like that. With courage to the new week folks!
– Featured Image : Heli Huhanatti
*Have I already told you how I love communal tables at restaurants? Well, now I did. They’re awesome and I never forget the first ones I dated, Kaffebønna (Strandtroget, Tromsø) and Pain Perdu ( 9 Walpoortstraat, Ghent). Highly recommended, especially if and when traveling / eating / drinking out alone
** You know it’s Sunday / snowing / cold when you’re holding your coffee with both hands.
*** Snow is beautiful but dangerous thing and you should take it seriously, but part of me can’t help smirking how easily this pure and white and fluffy thing can paralyze our modern societies from time to time.