Spring

...and Spring skipped happily...

I kept a blog for about the first ten years I lived here in Finland.  I have been perusing it and discovered as I did so that I have a recurring habit--every spring I am overcome by poignant expectation of her arrival, and if I write about her, I personify her.  (Spring is a she, Winter is a he, for some reason).

Spring surprised me this year.  She down right exploded in my face, if you will, leaving Winter no options to bid us one last farewell snowfall.  She shooed off his icy lake surfaces and worked her magic on all growing things in such rapid succession that I almost couldn't keep up. She came so forcefully that I am beginning to wonder if she and Summer are in cahoots, or perhaps just trying to apologetically pay back for last year's glitch when Summer refused to show up. 

These May days have been beautiful and warm, almost making me think I am not in Finland anymore. The lake water is warm enough to swim in, and I can walk outside in the evenings without a coat. I mention these things, because they are not to be taken for granted hereabouts.  This May has been the hottest in Finland's recorded history.

The sense of expectation has also been strong this year.  I am watching nature grow and sprout in my own little flower garden and under the kitchen window where I have some strawberry plants. I check on my little friends every day, wondering at their gumption to reach above the soil and become visible, sprout, grow strong and bloom in due time.  I have realized that I quite like to watch things grow.

And yes, this post has nothing to do with NorsuArt, per se. But I offer you yet another realization--I cannot separate my life into compartments--business, farming, gardening, faith, inner world, seasonal changes, etc. I have had difficulty blogging because most of the things I want to write about have very little to do with the business of cards and much more to do with the business of life. I figured there's enough space here for all of it. :)

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Each bloom has its timing.

As do you.

Nostalgia and Sun

Hi Friends,

It has been a few months since my last post. There has been a lot going on, which I assume you have read between the lines. :)

Cayo Largo del Sur, Cuba

Cayo Largo del Sur, Cuba

One highlight was a group trip to Cuba in February (my other talent is languages, so I was the group's Spanish-Finnish translator.) If I could sum up Cuba in three words, they would be colors, ideology, nostalgia. I believe Cuba is on the cusp of a new era as it continues to open up more, but one cannot seem to escape the past there, not least with the crumbling colorful buildings and the roaring 1950s American cars everywhere.

I can cheerfully say that I have better business and life habits than I did last year. I don't generally work until 10 pm, and I am exercising more regularly. I have gotten my office in order with a nice worktable that moves up and down so I don't silently kill myself by sitting all day! I am enjoying teaching more English classes this season (check out Litera Tec), which I find a friendly balance to NorsuArt.

Cuban art. What colors!

Cuban art. What colors!

Also, Spring. It is coming. The arrival of Spring on the farm means many things like planting and trimming apple trees. It also means lengthening days and the world turning greener day by day.

The seasons in Finland continue to mark time for me in a way that I never thought about in my youth in Ecuador, where such drastic changes of temperature were not part of the equatorial weather patterns of the jungle. But now I love to note the returning of the swans and the melting of the ice on the lake. The wisdom of life is to understand that it is composed of seasons, someone wise once shared with me.

This season will be a good one.