Ah………..Finland………..Life Lessons Learned and Learning

Finland White Cathedral Can I settle into silence? How does one adjust to silence when it is saturating the atmosphere around you? Being an American, I am used to the intrusion of sound into my life, wherever I am throughout my day. America is noisy. I am surrounded by voices seeking to be heard day in and day out through radio and television – news shows, reality shows, talk shows. Music plays in restaurants so loud that any thought of me having a conversation with anyone is difficult if not impossible. People are around me on cell phones, constantly talking, or texting, invading my space with incessant drama in coffee shops, retail stores, or any number of places. What’s a woman to do? I have the answer…………..come to Finland.

I am writing this from Helsinki. Finland is my second home. It’s where I have a residence visa. I split my time between California and here.

Finland is not noisy. I have been visiting here since 2002 and living here off and on for the past 5 years. This nation is silent and it has taught me a lot over the years. Yes, I will admit that sometimes the silence drives me crazy. I have often felt the urge to stand up on a metro and simply shout something absolutely insane just to get people’s attention. I have not done it yet but there is coming a day where that is a valid possibility.

I remember one time being under stress, leaving a particular situation on a Sunday night in Helsinki. Walking to the car with my friends, I was so sick of Finland that I yelled at the top of my lungs, “Noooooooo more!” They were speechless as I tried to justify why I had to do that. Hahaha! I have a strange relationship with this nation. I truly love it. I am called to be here and minister here.  But there are those days when the silence is deafening and relationships are hard to come by and you text a friend in California and ask them, “So tell me? Why am I in Finland again?”

No one forced me to come here.  I came here because I wanted to. I stay because I want to. My love for Finland is not forced. I choose to love Finland. It’s time for me to write about it over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy this part of my creative life.

Finland Park BenchLet me qualify a bit right now. I am going to be very upfront with what I have experienced and learned here. I hope you join me during these weeks that I am here visiting again.I have been in Finland a long time. There are some things I can say about it simply because I have stuck it out and weathered many storms while living here. There are good things to say, many many good things. Yet, there are also some honest things to say that I have noticed while being here. If you decided to live in America for any length of time, you may also have a love hate relationship with it. You would see things that you like and also experience things that you don’t like. That is the name of the game. Yet, it is what makes life interesting. So, let’s get back to silence and Finland. Yes, let’s get back to it…but not today…………tomorrow or the next day for sure. I am lovin’ this already.

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