I need to write a little letter to this great country that has been our home for the last 3 years.
First I have to compliment you on your clean, fresh and beautiful nature.
I LOVE the tall birch trees stretched up against that blue, blue sky.
I often stop at the top of our stairs and just look outside.
I love the wild untamed nature. It brings peace inside me.
I love walking along the many, many trails that criss-cross through the woods.
Soft, quiet and peaceful trails.
I love the wild berries that we have enjoyed picking and eating.
Blueberries, wild strawberries and huge, beautiful raspberries.
I am so thankful that our kids have gotten to experience this.
They have learned to cross country ski and they have skated hours and hours on some of the many public rinks.
We have cooled ourselves in the clean, clear lakes.
We have enjoyed wood burning sauna's at the edge of the lakes.
Sigh. I will miss these things will all my heart.
When the summers are nice here they are absolutely gorgeous.
I will even miss the dark winter nights... yeah. I actually will.
Even when it's so cold that your car struggles to start and no amount of clothes will keep you warm.
Those winter nights. Nights that are lit up with billions of stars on a velvety night sky.
So, so beautiful.
I will miss sitting on the couch in front of a hot fireplace, filled with snapping birch logs.
And the spring time, I will miss that too.
When it's cold and the sky is icy-blue and the pine trees are heavy with snow.... and the birch trees sparkle from all the frost. It's breath taking.
At the end of summer, when the forest is full of mushrooms and lingonberries and the trees turn bright like fire. Then the first snowfall...
Dear Finland. You have tought me so much.
You are quiet and you have a fun sense of humor.
You don't waste your words. You are honest and you don't try to impress.
I don't understand you. Neither the language or the silence, but I still like it for being you.
I appreciate your old history and deep roots.
Some of the food I eat here I enjoy immensely!
Especially the candy... and the Finnish strawberries...and chocolate...and bread....
I will miss you. We will miss you.
This is the country my dad was born in and I recognize myself in the people here.
I am impatient but quick to forgive, very much like the people of Karjala.
I am full of life and love and get frustrated easily... I can see that in many of your people here.
It's been humbling and neat to see where some of "me" stems from.
Other parts I don't recognize, and that's OK.
I feel that I have gotten to know myself better somehow.
I have learned so much about so many things, lessons I would not want to be without.
I know what it's like to be an immigrant.
When you lean on your kids for help with translating and placing phone calls.
I know what it's like to sit through hours of parent/teacher meetings without understanding much at all.
(Dear Hubby translates later, but in the moment, I often miss out)
I have learned to be the quiet one in the corner. (you who know me will get a chuckle of this!!)
I have been recognized as a shy person (more chuckle)
It's been so good and so humbling.
My respect for people who move to new countries, for whatever reason, to start a new life, has increased a lot.
For me it has not been easy and it will feel amazing to again sit in a room where I know what everyone is saying, where I "get it", where I'll again laugh when everybody else do (not after getting translation).
I am looking forward to lift up the phone to call the Dr, dentist, school etc, knowing that there'll be a mutual language.
Dear Finland. Thank you. Thank you for your quiet love and care.
I also thank God for giving us this opportunity.
I feel like several layers of who I was has been peeled away, and I think I like the "new" me a bit more.
I will cry when we leave you behind, headed for new adventures in Canada...
I will miss many of our friends and I will miss being in Scandinavia.
I am from this soil. The Nordic countries are my home countries.
In North America I sometimes feel foreign too, but that's the land where our kids belong.
And I feel belonging there through them.
Dear Finland.... take care, till we meet again.