It’s cold, it’s white and it’s part of my life. The snowy winter. In Finland we are fortunate to have four beautifully different seasons. The cold snowy winter, somewhat warm but exceptionally beautiful summer, spring full of energy and sometimes rainy but fresh autumn. There are many of us and many Finns who hate cold winter, and can’t stand the snow. We all are different and we all have our own opinions and places where we like to be. I love sun, warm weather and blossoming flowers but I still couldn’t imagine the life without a snowy, crispy and cold winter – it’s a period that my body, my soul and my mind need. Since there are now -15 degrees outside and it’s already dark, I have good time to spend a couple of minutes drinking warm tea at home and write this blog posting – and above all – to tell you why I love so much this white season. I could be the child who is waiting to see the first snow flake fall slowly down on the ground.
How much happiness and joy one simple creature of nature, snow, can bring to a child? Snow and snowflakes are something beautiful. They bring light to the darkness and create a unique atmosphere that is an important part of our winter traditions and celebrations.
Time to relax, time to slow down, and time to do things that we never had time to do at summer
Summer is normally beautiful in Finland but it doesn’t last so long. There are three months, June, July and August when we try to do thousand different things: go for a run, have a picnic, sunbathe by the see, go swimming, spend sleepless nights partying outside, have a glass of sparkling wine or a beer with friends, eat strawberries, go sailing, go playing golf, do a bike ride around the countryside, go to festivals and concerts and just hang around out with friends. And yeah, in summer we have a lot of energy to do all these things. But on the other hand for me summer is the period when I don’t like to study, I almost never go to cinema and I don’t even read that many books. When autumn and the rainy and chilly days come, I almost feel relaxed…finally I have a good reason to stay at home, lay on the sofa and read a book, drink a warm cup of coffee of tea and just relax. I have time to think, plan and evaluate the things that I want to do. I hardly have time or willingness to study languages at summer. After a day at work my thoughts and concentration are somewhere between a relaxing jogging path, beach, golf course or sunbed. But in the winter time, every now and then I love to stay at home, take my language book and study – with the aim to show my improved language skills on my next summer holiday abroad. It’s the same feeling that I have when I travel by train or by plain….I can with good conscience just be, and read and think and admire the beautiful snowy landscape outside through the window.
The best thing with the cold and snowy winter days is that the air feels so fresh. I love to go skiing, running or just for a walk in the fresh air. Ok, if the temperature is too low it’s better to avoid running and other hard sports but a nice walk or relaxing ski trip is ok anyway…. I have always suffered from cold fingers and toes but I have them also in the summer. I don’t know why, but the cold winter air makes me feel good, it actually improves my blood circulation, and most importantly it improves the quality of my sleep. The effect might be more psychological than physical but for me it does not matter as long I sleep like a baby. :) Alpine skiing is one of my favorite sports and that wouldn’t be possible without snow and winter. So there is one more reason why I couldn’t imagine a life without the snow: the lack of snow would mean the lack of fun and the lack of alpine skiing!
Connection with traditions and celebrations
What would the Christmas be without snow and Santa Claus? For me Christmas and snow are two inseparable things. Christmas is not the same without snow – snow brings the light, the feelings, the atmosphere and the happiness and it also reveals the beauty of nature. There are so many things that are connected both with snow and Christmas in Finland. Reindeers, Santa Claus, Christmas tree, snowflakes, snowy landscapes…childhood memories. But there are also many many other traditions than Christmas which would be nothing without snow. Christmas markets, sledding hills, snow angels, ice skating etc. If there is no snow, we will miss all these traditions or at least part of them.
The beautiful contrast: cold fresh air and white snow – the sensation of warmth, warm feelings and the light from candles.
I like about contrast in photography. And so do I like about the contrast that we can find in the characteristics connected with winter. One of the most famous Finnish traditions is sauna. I don’t really like about the sauna in summer but yes, I love it in winter. I don’t know how healthy it is to go to a warm (or hot) sauna after a long walk in the cold air but at least it feels so good. It relaxes not only my body and muscles but also my mind. There is a need to find the balance between the cold that is outside with the warmth that comes from inside – from candles, from heating, from sauna and from our hearts and feelings.
Cold hands warm heart, right? :) Winter can also be a romantic period, and it is that especially with the snow.
“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.”