Text: Helmi Yrjänä
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
I was making notes for this blog post after eleven p.m. on Sunday evening. I was exhausted after a busy week, but I suddenly found myself humming with happiness instead of moaning with fatigue.
The week as a trainee teacher had squeezed me dry. I often had to start working at seven in the morning, and there were still things to do late at night. I had also promised to babysit for the weekend in a family I did not know. All through the week I worried about the weekend. When you are there for the children, you should be 100% alert and present.
My weekend turned out to be a lot of work, but otherwise it was wonderful. I gathered to myself all the generously given hugs, caresses and tickles. It might have been hard to get through the weekend without such abundance of closeness.
I surprised myself when I agreed to go and visit some friends after the Sunday services. It had been a while since I had been to anybody’s home, and the last time was with only a small group. I thought I could maybe stay an hour and then go home. But surprisingly, I stayed until close to eleven.
Sitting around a table with many other people, I suddenly realized I was happy. I felt I was in the best possible place. I was not tired, and I did not feel anxious among those people. For the first time in a very long time I laughed out loud and long and freely. I did not lose control completely, but I felt free to laugh. I felt I belonged there, though I did not say much. Whenever more than five people are present, I usually listen rather than speak.
Walking back home, I smiled to myself. I was so happy that it felt quite special. My life had been so dull and ordinary for such a long time that the feeling of happiness jolted me awake.
The feeling brought to my mind how, during my first fall at Opisto, I tried to write about happiness on three occasions. I don’t know exactly why none of those texts were completed. But the fact that the topic was happiness tells something about that year.
One of the draft texts began like this:
”I am happy.
Happiness is a bewildering feeling. It is hard to describe happiness with words. Sometimes I just have this feeling: You know what? I am happy!”
That was precisely how I felt when I walked home that Sunday evening.
For a couple of years, I was constantly tired. I very seldom went to haps with the other kids. Crowds of people made me anxious. I particularly remember one evening in a place where I hardly knew anyone. I felt very uncomfortable and went upstairs alone to cry about my anxiety.
It is comforting to realize that life consists of different stages. Some are longer and may last for anything up to a year, while some others are over in a week. Thinking back, I survived my year of fatigue quite well. The lockdown was actually a relief. With fewer social contacts, I had the energy to enjoy the important moments of togetherness with my family and my closest friends.
Right now my life is full of significance. It feels good to be myself. My weeks are filled with studies, singing, friends and family. The annual meeting of our choir gave me a small duty. I feel good to know that the others trust me.
An old song that we have been singing this fall has really touched me. The words seem to address a tired person who is praying for peace and to encourage them to close their eyes and sleep. I had heard the song before, but the words really hit home now. The first time we were singing that song, the words touched me so deeply that I could not even sing.
Reilut kymmenen vuotta sitten julkisiin rakennuksiin alkoi ilmestyä kansioita, joissa luki ”pelastussuunnitelma”. Monien kirkkojen sakasteissa tämä antoi aiheen huumorille ja erilaisille toteamuksille: ”Viimeinkin pelastussuunnitelma on tiiviissä paketissa niin pappien kuin seurakuntalaisten saatavilla”. Joku puolestaan pohti: ”Eikö Raamattu enää riitäkään pelastussuunnitelmaksi, kun apua pitää kysyä viranomaisilta?” Rakennusten turvallisuuteen liittyvä ohjeistus muistutti siitä, että kirkko on Jumalan pelastussuunnitelman eli sielujen pelastamisen asialla.
Välähdyksiä rovasti Pentti Kopperoisen elämän varrelta sekä ajankuvaa suomalaisten elämästä 1930-luvulta nykypäiviin.
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