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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Light and shade under the sun

Vieraskieliset / In-english
27.8.2021 7.00

Juttua muokattu:

20.8. 10:35

Text: Jou­ni Le­so­nen

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

Bril­li­ant red and blue flo­wers, white rib­bons and fresh green everg­reens against a backd­rop of gloo­my late Oc­to­ber night. Some ye­ars ago I went to the ce­me­te­ry in the night to take pic­tu­res. I was due to keep a ser­mon and was loo­king for stark cont­rasts, ima­ges of dark­ness and light, bright­ness and som­ber­ness. I was ab­le to cap­tu­re all that in one pic­tu­re.

In May, nights are no lon­ger dark in nort­hern Fin­land. I am about to go for a walk on a ra­di­ant­ly sun­ny mor­ning. When I walk, I usu­al­ly on­ly lis­ten to the sounds of na­tu­re. This time, ho­we­ver, I am we­a­ring earp­ho­nes to lis­ten to the mor­ning news. Eu­ro­pe­an count­ries are wor­ried about their eco­no­my, the ho­me­less, unemp­lo­y­ment and po­ver­ty, while so­mew­he­re el­se the main con­cerns are wars and dai­ly vi­o­len­ce. Do­mes­tic news re­port loud de­ba­tes and ar­gu­ments about pan-Eu­ro­pe­an eco­no­my.

At the same time I am fol­lo­wing the wake-up sounds of lo­cal na­tu­re on this spring mor­ning. There are still patc­hes of snow in shady pla­ces. Brooks are mur­mu­ring on their way to­ward lar­ger wa­ter­wa­ys. Small and lar­ge birds are sin­ging. I hear black grou­se cluc­king on their ma­ting disp­lay.

In my mind I tra­vel back in time. I make a six­ty-ye­ar leap back to the time where my ear­liest me­mo­ries come. I re­mem­ber the warm July eve­ning when my yo­un­gest brot­her was bap­ti­zed. Fif­ty-se­ven ye­ars la­ter I hel­ped to car­ry his cof­fin in­to a grave. Light and shade al­ter­na­ted on that sun­ny Au­gust day.

I con­ti­nue to lis­ten to the news and the sounds of na­tu­re. My me­mo­ries pro­ceed with small steps to­ward the pre­sent time.

That mor­ning, be­fo­re I went for a walk, I log­ged in to so­ci­al me­dia, where I had a qu­es­ti­on wai­ting: “Why do you live in Kai­nuu?” I ans­we­red that qu­es­ti­on. Fif­ty ye­ars ago I mo­ved here from Savo, the eas­tern re­gi­on of Fin­land just south of Kai­nuu. I have wor­ked here, mar­ried my wife and had a fa­mi­ly. My wife and I have rai­sed our child­ren here and built our­sel­ves a home. My life and our li­ves are here.

I can re­la­te to the words and the me­lo­dy of the re­gi­o­nal ant­hem: ”Hear the whis­pe­ring of our wil­der­ness, the splas­hing of our ma­jes­tic la­kes – – Our li­ber­ty is in these fo­res­ted hil­ls– –To us, the spring brings its fai­ries.”

We have our wor­ries in Kai­nuu. The po­pu­la­ti­on is dec­li­ning and ageing. Yo­ung pe­op­le are mo­ving out and not co­ming back. There is a shor­ta­ge of spe­ci­a­list wor­kers but al­so unemp­lo­y­ment. Our mor­bi­di­ty rate is high. Many ot­her Fin­nish pro­vin­ces are suf­fe­ring from si­mi­lar prob­lems. Des­pi­te all these re­a­sons for con­cern, I feel at home in Kai­nuu. This is where I be­long.

The news bro­ad­cast ends. I take off my earp­ho­nes and con­cent­ra­te on the spring sounds of na­tu­re. Wal­king along, I con­ti­nue my jour­ney in time to­ward the pre­sent. What things have chan­ged on the way? It seems things have imp­ro­ved. When I com­pa­re my child­hood to pre­sent-day child­hood, it seems most things are bet­ter. The life and fu­tu­re of our child­ren and grandc­hild­ren al­so seem bright and good. God has a plan for all of us and will give us hope and a fu­tu­re. (Jer. 29:11).

Thin­king back to the more than six­ty ye­ars of my life, I feel joy, gra­ti­tu­de and hap­pi­ness. That fee­ling is so strong that I find a hymn on my phone and lis­ten to it.

”My life comp­le­te­ly lies wit­hin yo­ur kee­ping, where’er I’m trav’ling, la­bo­ring or slee­ping. Let ev’ry mo­ment be as un­to you, that all my neigh­bors see yo­ur love most true, love most true.”

I lis­ten to the hymn se­ve­ral ti­mes, sung by dif­fe­rent sin­gers. I wish as many pe­op­le as pos­sib­le could sin­ce­re­ly join in this hymn: “Yo­ur call will gat­her all yo­ur saints to­get­her, to prai­se yo­ur wis­dom, glory, strength and ho­nor. Come soon, O Sa­vi­or, open he­a­ven’s door that we could prai­se you then and ever­mo­re, ever­mo­re.” (SHZ. 328:7,9.)


Herra on kuningas! Riemuitkoon maa, iloitkoot meren saaret ja rannat! Pilvi ja pimeys ympäröi häntä, hänen istuintaan kannattavat vanhurskaus ja oikeus. Ps. 97:1–2

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