Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
We spent Easter this year in Finland. We came to Finland to visit a woman I met on Heron Island in 2003 at a conference then saw again in Prague 2 years later for the same conference. We’ve exchanged emails sporadically since then and gifts on the births of our children. I still use the Marimekko mouse pad, that she sent me in 2007, every day at work.
When I told my acquaintance that we had moved to Trondheim, Norway she promptly invited us to visit her and her family (husband and daughters aged 12 and 8). An Australian living in Norway once told me that it’s dangerous to invite an Australian to stay with you because they will never forget the invitation and one day turn up on your doorstep. So, in keeping with my national tradition, that’s what we did.
We were delighted to discover that we slotted in nicely with the Suomi (Finnish) family. The two 8 year old girls became inseparable and enjoyed sleeping in the same room and taking a long sauna together every evening, the 12 year old girl tolerated the 8 year olds raiding her make-up and shared her gymnast rings with them (suspended from the ceiling these had a magnetic attraction to all 4 children and me too and I soon found myself upside down in the ‘cradle’ position like I learnt in circus class). The men enjoyed chatting about Finland and having quiet time for reflection.
In the meantime my friend and I spent our time preparing meals together, talking non-stop, having long saunas together and enjoying each other’s company. We discovered some hidden similarities, I spend a lot of time in the Middle East and learnt basic Arabic to help me with that, she spends a lot of time in Central Asia and learnt basic Russian to help her with that. We have similar diets and find ourselves at a similar stage in our lives. I feel privileged to enjoy the opportunity of deepening our friendship and I look forward to spending time with her again somewhere, some time!
For all of us the highlights of our cosy time spent with an extremely generous, kind and gentle Suomi family were: