My mother married a man who owned a very remote farm. She needed time to get familiar with the surrounding forest. At that time cattle were allowed to graze and roam freely in the woods. There were no fences, and the cows were free to move around. In the late summer they sometimes walked long distances to find mushrooms to eat.
One day the cows did not come home by milking time, and my mother had to go out to find them, listening for the sound of cowbells and calling the cows.
There was no sign of them. Mother panicked and strayed away from the path. She ripped her new rubber boot on a dry stick. She lost her sense of direction completely. She only heard the wind in the trees. It was an ancient, dark forest. She could hear an eagle owl calling and a bear whistling. Getting lost in the forest was just about the most terrible thing that could happen.
There was a local story about a little girl who had run away from the yard at the time of some spring or summer holiday, when even the nights are light. She had been found at midnight drowned in a bog. Mother told us about her. She was constantly worried about her own child leaving the yard. She would not have known which way to go to find them. The house was surrounded by forest on all sides.
The sun began to set, and it would soon be dark. She finally came across a familiar path and also heard the sound of a familiar cowbell. The cows were there. But we, her children, remembered our mother’s story: the sighing of wind in the trees, the steep hillsides, the autumns colors of the forest, the falling dusk and the fear of not finding the way home.
I once got lost in the winter. There had been military exercises in the thick spruce forest across the road from my home. The forest was full of hard-trodden ski tracks. My sisters and I went out one afternoon to walk along the tracks. We sometimes found something where the tents had been, if nothing else, then chopped pieces of dry birch that we could bring home to our mother for firewood.
Suddenly the tracks began to seem all the same. There were many of them crisscrossing between the big spruces. Which of them would take us to the road and home? It was cold, and the temperature continued to drop towards the evening. The winter’s day was short. The spruce trees were thick and tall, the snow crunched under our feet, and the sky was high above us. My little sister began to cry. We ran around scared. Fortunately, were guided to walk in the right direction towards the road.
As an adult I once went to pick blueberries. There was an old, overgrown harvester track in the forest. I took it for the old route leading to the boggy area my parents used to own.
Suddenly I saw an old clearing and a power line that should not have been there. I felt strange. I had to sit down on a hummock to do some thinking. Which was wrong: the landscape or I? Luckily, a dog began to bark in the village, and I realized that I had mistaken the harvester track for the track I was looking for.
How lovely it is for a someone who is lost to hear a familiar voice: Walk this way. Or to see a familiar light: Come this way. Here is home.
Text: Tuula Stång
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
Oikeudessa puidaan pian sitä, mitä saa Suomessa uskonnonvapauden nimissä julkisesti sanoa. Samalla punnitaan kahden perusoikeuden, uskonnonvapauden ja sananvapauden suhdetta. Molemmat ovat Suomen perustuslain mukaan luovuttamattomia ja suojattuja oikeuksia.
Mikaelan perheessä ei paljon puhuta asioista. Tehdään töitä, käydään koulua. Mutta jossain pinnan alla on salaisuus, joka saa äidin hyräilemään surumielisesti ja Mikaelan silmäilemään tarkemmin muutamia nuoria koulun käytävillä ja ruokalassa.
Annika Koivukankaan runoissa heittäydytään nuoren elämän aallokkoon, sen iloihin ja kipuihin, koettelemuksiin ja arjen suloiseen turvaan – kun on usko, johon nojata ja rinnalla saattajia. Syviä tuntoja keventää raikas huumori: ”Kunpa voisin asettua hetkeksi koiran turkkiin. / Tuntea sen lämmön / karkumatkojen tuoksun / ja myllätyn kukkapenkin ilon. Paijaavia sormia riittäisi.”
Kahdeksanvuotias Nalle Karhunen on kuusivuotiaan Nupun eli Omenaposken viisas, kiltti ja hellä isoveli. Joskus Nalle käyttäytyy kuin talviuniltaan herätetty hurja ja äkkipikainen karhu. Silloin Nupun on parasta lähteä ulos tai laittaa oman huoneen ovi visusti kiinni.
Kirjoittajat eri puolilta maailmaa kertovat siitä, kuinka Jumala on johdattanut heidät valtakuntaansa. Kertomuksia yhdistää kokemus kotiinpaluusta, Raamatun mukaisen uskon löytymisestä ja uskovaisten välisestä rakkaudesta.