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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: They call it restful retirement

Vieraskieliset / In-english
10.12.2021 12.00

Juttua muokattu:

19.11. 13:45

Text: Tuu­la Stång

Transla­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

The best way to get rid of one’s sen­se of well-being is to take on an ex­ces­si­ve work­lo­ad at the be­gin­ning of the sum­mer.

My late sis­ter had gi­ven me a bag of pop­py seeds, and I plan­ted them in peat pots on the kitc­hen tab­le. I did that in me­mo­ry of my dear sis­ter. But what on earth made me al­so buy snapd­ra­gon, sweet pea and sunf­lo­wer seeds? There were so many pots on my tab­le that there was hard­ly space for me to eat my me­als.

On­ce I had comp­le­te­ly lost cont­rol, I al­so purc­ha­sed a box gar­den frame, more seeds of many kinds and ten sacks of plan­ting mix. In my mind’s eye I saw my­self wor­king in my gar­den with the cool calm­ness of the an­cient Chi­ne­se, sur­roun­ded by sweet bird­song and the lo­ve­ly frag­ran­ce of spring flo­wers.

But re­a­li­ty be­gan to dawn on me qui­te soon. All my time went in­to hau­ling things from one place to anot­her, cle­a­ning and ti­dying, and was­hing things. I had to wash the rugs quick­ly as long as the we­at­her was good and there was still enough wa­ter in the well. I strug­g­led with the clot­hes line, trying to fix it so firm­ly it would not break un­der the weight of my was­hing. In the me­an­ti­me, my sunf­lo­wer seed­lings grew very tall, col­lap­sed, tur­ned yel­low, and fi­nal­ly died. I did not have the time. I did not have the ener­gy. But what was most im­por­tant, I made a flo­wer bed for the pop­pies and plan­ted them un­der frost cloth. The snapd­ra­gons simp­ly wit­he­red away.

The ge­ra­niums I had bought at the mar­ket see­med to thrive, ho­we­ver. I me­ant to plant them in big plan­ters, but I got a nas­ty surp­ri­se: the soil in one of the plan­ters was full of small ants. They had even in­va­ded the sack of plan­ting mix lying next to the plan­ter. I emp­tied the sack bet­ween the cur­rant bus­hes and tried to col­lect at le­ast some of the pre­ci­ous stuff for my seed­lings.

The box gar­den was my last pro­ject. It was late in the day, and I was ex­haus­ted and sur­roun­ded by swarms of mos­qui­to­es and flies. I had had this ex­pe­rien­ce be­fo­re: my sweat pants were slip­ping down, my shirt was too skim­py, mos­qui­to­es were stin­ging me, my glas­ses were fog­ged over, my he­a­ring aid was fal­ling down my cheek. But I ma­na­ged to plant the red oni­ons. And even the peas. I im­pa­tient­ly stuf­fed the car­rot and ra­dish seed strips down in­to the soil (which see­med to me peat, which I had not me­ant to buy). The let­tu­ce, dill, pars­ley and ma­ri­gold seeds ba­re­ly es­ca­ped being dum­ped in­to a mass grave.

When, af­ter all that toil and strug­g­le, I sat down in my roc­king chair, I he­ard the bird­song through the open win­dow. The wind was sig­hing in the trees. I re­a­li­zed that I can still hear all that – and I should be hap­py about it. Alt­hough my whole body was sore, I knew I can still do cle­a­ning mo­de­ra­te­ly well – and that is anot­her re­a­son to be hap­py.

Life is not just hard work, des­pair, sor­row, pain, dif­fi­cul­ties and going down­hill. There is al­so so­met­hing el­se, so­met­hing that touc­hes us much dee­per and en­cou­ra­ges us to strug­g­le along.


Hyvä ja oikeamielinen on Herra, hän neuvoo syntisille tien. Ps. 25:8

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