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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Why do trees live lon­ger than pe­op­le?

Vieraskieliset / In-english
21.1.2021 7.30

Juttua muokattu:

20.1. 13:27

I was plan­ting vi­o­lets and cree­pers in bo­xes on a sun­ny day of the ear­ly sum­mer, when a dis­mal thought oc­cur­red to me: Af­ter this spring, I may not be ab­le to do spring­ti­me plan­ting more than about twen­ty ti­mes in my li­fe­ti­me. I tried to find con­so­la­ti­on in the fact that I do not even love plan­ting par­ti­cu­lar­ly. But that was small com­fort that did not brigh­ten up my dep­res­sed mind! This small in­ci­dent sug­ges­ted two things that I would like to write about: gar­de­ning and the short­ness of hu­man life.

I can still not pre­pa­re the foun­da­ti­on of a flo­wer bed pro­per­ly. I al­so find it dif­fi­cult to cre­a­te a com­po­si­ti­on that would have some flo­we­ring plants throug­hout the sum­mer, would have lo­wer plants at the front than at the back, would have a ba­lan­ced pa­let­te of co­lors and still be at­t­rac­ti­ve, would not wit­her ea­si­ly, would not be too much hard work, and would not grow on one side on­ly or in­va­de the lawn. And the flo­wers should be of nice shape, not like bot­t­leb­rus­hes. Ove­rall, the whole idea of a flo­wer bed seems stres­s­ful to me.

Snow mel­ted late this spring, and it see­med sum­mer would ne­ver come. But sud­den­ly eve­ryt­hing exp­lo­ded in­to life, and thanks to our light nights, we be­gan to catch up with the sout­hern parts of the count­ry inc­re­dib­ly fast.

We the­re­fo­re star­ted wor­king on our ve­ge­tab­le gar­den and yard in good time. But we had to resc­he­du­le things when a storm fell down the lar­ge birch tree by our front door and cut off the top of anot­her tree. I could not help won­de­ring how much tal­ler the storm-ra­va­ged tree would grow du­ring our li­fe­ti­me…

Then, af­ter the long pe­ri­od of sec­lu­si­on due to the co­vid-19 pan­de­mic, we fi­nal­ly had some of our ol­der child­ren at home. We went to buy seed­lings and wor­ked in the gar­den long in­to the night. It see­med to have a good im­pact on all of us. I be­gan to un­ders­tand some of the real sig­ni­fi­can­ce of gar­de­ning. It al­lows you to dig and plant and wa­ter and dream of growth and suc­ces­s­ful out­co­mes. And to do all that to­get­her with ot­hers!

The girls told me about the be­au­ti­ful lin­den trees that grow on their home street in Jy­väs­ky­lä in cent­ral Fin­land. Lin­dens grow even here in Ter­vo­la in sout­hern Lap­land, though our ve­ge­ta­ti­on zone is not very ge­ne­rous ot­her­wi­se. We ad­ded lin­den sap­lings to our shop­ping list.

On the plan­ting day, one of the girls was char­ged with plan­ting the lin­dens. I sup­p­lied the soil and wa­ter that she nee­ded. The hole we had dug was lar­ge enough, and the plan­ting see­med to go well. We just nee­ded to check so­met­hing on the In­ter­net. When I came back with a cart load of soil, she read with an amu­sed smile: “For the first few ye­ars the sap­lings grow qui­te slow­ly. Af­ter about 20 ye­ars, growth be­co­mes fas­ter up to the age of 60 ye­ars. The tree re­ac­hes its full size at about 150 ye­ars. The es­ti­ma­ted ave­ra­ge age of lin­dens is 200–250 ye­ars.”

We en­ded up won­de­ring why hu­man life is so short, while trees live so much lon­ger.

I have so­me­how lost my abi­li­ty to en­joy things that are right here right now. I am overw­hel­med by the idea of the short­ness of hu­man life. I won­der, qui­te un­ne­ces­sa­ri­ly, what things I will have to give up when my tem­po­ral life co­mes to an end.

Whe­ne­ver such dis­tur­bing thoughts in­va­de my mind, I find con­so­la­ti­on in Paul’s first let­ter to Ti­mot­hy: “But god­li­ness with con­tent­ment is great gain.  For we brought not­hing in­to the world, and we can take not­hing out of it.” 

How could I in­ter­na­li­ze this? That eve­ryt­hing is a gift. That even faith is a gift. And ul­ti­ma­te­ly it is on­ly faith that mat­ters. And how could I un­ders­tand, if on­ly im­per­fect­ly, that even the most be­au­ti­ful tree or mag­ni­fi­cent dah­lia is not­hing com­pa­red to God’s he­a­ven!

But all the while en­de­a­vo­ring down here on earth, we con­ti­nue gar­de­ning. We plan­ted co­ral bel­ls in our gar­den to com­me­mo­ra­te our co­ral wed­ding an­ni­ver­sa­ry. While fol­lo­wing their growth, we can think about our own life, all our bles­sings and all our cau­ses for gra­ti­tu­de.

The Fin­nish wri­ter Toi­vo Pek­ka­nen wrote: ”Life is a flee­ting mo­ment. Ye­ars roll by quick­ly, and old age is upon us be­fo­re we see it co­ming. Pe­op­le co­vet for so many things and was­te the gol­den days of their li­ves. Some crave for ric­hes, some for po­wer, yet some ot­hers for glory and high sta­tu­re. But when they are close to de­ath and look back at their li­ves, they find they were on­ly hap­py when they lo­ved.”

Text: Han­na-Ma­ria Jur­mu

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

You will find the ori­gi­nal blog post here.


Sinä päi­vä­nä Her­ra on ole­va koko maan­pii­rin ku­nin­gas. Hän on ole­va yk­si ja ai­noa Ju­ma­la ja hä­nen ni­men­sä ai­noa, jota avuk­si huu­de­taan. Sak. 14:9

Viikon kysymys


Toi­sen­lai­ses­sa va­los­sa

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.

Se­läs­sä au­rin­gon kat­se

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.”

Ome­na­pos­ki ja Nal­le Kar­hu­nen

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.

Ta­kai­sin Isän ko­tiin

Kir­joit­ta­jat eri puo­lil­ta maa­il­maa ker­to­vat sii­tä, kuin­ka Ju­ma­la on joh­dat­ta­nut hei­dät val­ta­kun­taan­sa. Ker­to­muk­sia yh­dis­tää ko­ke­mus ko­tiin­pa­luus­ta, Raa­ma­tun mu­kai­sen us­kon löy­ty­mi­ses­tä ja us­ko­vais­ten vä­li­ses­tä rak­kau­des­ta.

Ke­tun­po­jat ja Ja­gu­ar-mies