Where do I even begin?........
I am sitting at home, wholly disoriented from the whirlwind of the past thirty-one days. My insides feel like a gently but definitely boiling pot of porridge, with alternating bubbles of joy and sadness and anxiety rising to the surface from the depths of my being. I find myself searching for words to describe what I am experiencing and how I am feeling - but I am only left with the uneasy stirrings of emotions that are whirling about wildly inside of me. The words don't come fast enough to describe any of it accurately. The moment I grasp a feeling, another feeling - seemingly a complete contradiction to the first one - appears out of somewhere.
I suppose I could just say "it was a great trip and we had a wonderful time and oh my how the month flew by", post a few pictures and be done with it, but there is so much more.... And I'm afraid that to wait until I feel ready to express it will mean that I will continue not to blog for yet another month. So.... I'll just start with something easy - and short.
I'll spare you the wonderful details of what it meant to travel while Mercury is in retrogade (this was REALLY apparent the entire trip!) let's just say we visited more countries than initially planned. Here is one of the first views of mainland Finland that I had from the plane. It was about 11 PM. I knew I had forgotten just HOW gorgeous Finnish summer nights are. Just to fill my lungs with that air was to inhale a little piece of heaven. And the hours of dawn.... I can't even begin to describe the light that would first hit the tops of the tall spruces and silver birches and then begin to light the fields of oats and barley on fire........ truly "Fields of Gold" as Sting put it. (And he, by the way, was in Finland while I was there - but, sadly, he had invited 40,000 other people on our "date" so I had no choice but to stand him up.)
Who needs Sting anyway?...... Here is my absolutely AMAZING travel companion. As if I didn't know it before - he is my rock! One of the most fun things we did together on this trip was to spend the evening by the banks of the river in Turku. He, of course, with the camera in hand and me helping spot random interesting people here and there and acting as "cover" as he snapped shots. As the night went on and the cider beers went down, more and more Finns got brave about approaching us. I think we got home around 3 AM. So much for getting over jetlag! I think I must be getting old!
OK, are you ready for the absolute GEM of this trip? (Well, for me anyhow...) Sorry if I am repeating a ton of things you've already read on bruce's site.
This is our 2.5 year old (well, stricktly speaking, 2 years and 9 months) God Daughter, Pinja. She is THE most incredible child I have ever met. Here she is giving "Buce" (she couldn't quite do the B and R sounds back to back) finnish lessons. She found it astounding that a grown-up didn't know what a tree or a boat was. Bruce asked her "mikä tämä on?" (what is this?) and she would stare right into his eyes with her head slightly tilted and say "Tämä on VENE!" (this is a BOAT) with a tone that implied "what is WRONG with you? How could you NOT KNOW this?!?"......... Then she got visibly delighted to be able to teach him things. They went through the same routine regarding baseball caps, bridges, trees, water and much more while she giggled at her God Father. These were the absolutely most heart-melting, precious moments of the trip for both of us. When we got back from our boating/swimming trip with her, she climbed on her John Deer tractor with a trailor attached to it and promptly announced that it was time for "Pinja's next new adventure!" She is absolutely fearless. She asked me to dangle her by her feet from the boat (while we were going full speed!) so she could touch the water!!!!! I think by the time she is 5, she'll be ready to travel internationally on her own! I think I forgot to ask her to return my heart back to where she got it from, please...........
More later... about everything.