We pedaled our bikes together against strong headwind. I complained a little because my bike was so heavy to pedal and I felt cold. We had gone for a jog or a bike ride every single evening during the lockdown. My husband asked me to bike by his side in such a way that he could protect me from the worst wind. How romantic!
I suddenly remembered that my bike is more than 20 years old. It is as old as our marriage. It was a morning gift from my husband after our wedding. We laughed about that and agreed that the bike is symbolic of our marriage: a bit stiff and rusty but reliable and faithful, occasionally even surprising.
I felt an unexpected wave of gratitude. We have lived together for so many years, and we still enjoy each other’s company. That is precious. There are times when I find him annoying and impossible to understand, but very soon he again seems the best of men.
While pedaling along, we began to reminisce about the time when we first met and got to know each other. We met at the Siikatörmä camp. For many previous summers, I had been a counselor at the camps for special needs children and youth.
That summer the couple who were camp directors had recruited a new counselor, a guy called Janne from Seinäjoki. He was a nice, straightforward person. I was happy when I heard he was coming to study in Oulu University. We met at services and talked and sometimes even visited each other.
I remember how painful it was to ultimately realize that I was seriously attracted to him, while I still knew nothing about his feelings. It was my first experience of that kind of dilemma.
I had certainly felt attracted before, but had always found that the conversation that flowed freely in a group of friends tended to dry up when we were together without the others. I was agonizing about how one can know who is the right one. I wondered what was wrong with me: when I felt attracted to someone and even received a favorable response, I suddenly withdrew into my shell and stopped being interested.
People had told me that one knows when one meets the right person. I realized that now, but did he? It was both easy and interesting to visit with him. I wanted to get to know him better but was simultaneously afraid that I might fall even more deeply in love with him, and that nothing might come out of it.
I had never before cried over a boy, but now I did and fretted about the situation to my sister and my friends. I did not want to fall in love. I was afraid I would break down if I did not get him.
We had been texting a lot, and he finally called and asked me for a walk. He suggested I should start walking from my student flat and he would start walking from his. We were to meet at the bridge reconstruction site halfway in between. That was where we talked and admitted to each other that we were hopelessly in love – or actually we did not dare to say it so frankly. I said that maybe I felt a little attracted to him, and he said I was probably the nicest girl he had met.
When he suggested we should start courting, I said it was okay, but maybe a little later. I thought we could wait for a couple of months before going out together, but when he came up to me at services the following Sunday and asked if he could sit next to me, I said yes. After the service we started getting messages with congratulations. We had a problem: should we thank our friends for the congratulations or deny the whole thing. We thanked them and started holding hands that same evening. We talked a lot about many things. I wanted to know all about him and to tell him all about myself.
Though I know that younger people hardly want advice from a middle-aged lady, I still want to give this advice. If you are, like I was, wondering about who is the right one for you, I can say that if you find someone who wants to listen to you and if you also want to listen to him or her, it may be that you have found the right one.
If both are interested in the other’s thoughts, history, family and friends, you may have found the right one. If you can talk about all things and there are no secrets between you, you may have found the right one. If you can discuss your values right at the beginning and there is no discrepancy between them, you may have found the right one.
If you laugh at his jokes and he laughs at yours, if you find him good-looking and he also finds you good-looking, and if there is some electricity between you, maybe he is the right one for you. If he believes sincerely in his heart in the same way as you do, and if he also thinks that you should together aim at the same goal, lifelong marriage, take him if you can. Yet, you may find all this advice useless but may still find the right one - or not.
Text: Virpi Mäkinen
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
You will find the original blog post here.
Suomessa on eletty pitkään rauhan aikaa. Tämä ei ole itsestään selvä asia. On kysymys Jumalan lahjasta. Maamme rauhaa ja itsenäisyyttä on aika ajoin myös häiritty ja uhattu. Historian eri vaiheissa kansamme on joutunut puolustamaan omaa olemassaoloaan myös ase kädessä.
Koko perheen joululevy sisältää jouluisia Siionin lauluja. Niiden sanoista kuulijalle välittyvät sekä hiljentyminen seimen äärelle että ilo ja ihmetys seimen lapsen syntymästä.
Kirjoittajat eri puolilta maailmaa kertovat siitä, kuinka Jumala on johdattanut heidät valtakuntaansa. Kertomuksia yhdistää kokemus kotiinpaluusta, Raamatun mukaisen uskon löytymisestä ja uskovaisten välisestä rakkaudesta.
Kuuden edesmenneen puhujan elämänvaiheet piirtävät kuvaa uskosta ja elämästä menneinä vuosikymmeninä. Heidän kokemuksensa myös syventävät kristillisyyttä koetelleiden hajaannusten historiaa.
Eeva Kontiokarin runoissa tarkastellaan ikääntymistä lempeällä huumorilla ja elämänkokemuksen tuomalla viisaudella.