Autumn in Central Finland

finland

Autumn in central Finland starts to creep in around the beginning of August. The weather cools off significantly, although it usually heats up again later in the month. A few leaves on the tress begin to change color and fall, if you’re paying attention. It’s clear that the short summer is just about over, and the Long Dark is slowly creeping up on you.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned during my time in Finland, it’s to appreciate that everything is temporary. During the summer the sun never sets, and the country pretty much shuts down during the month of July. Everyone knows that the beautiful weather, the ability to go hiking in the woods and hang out along the shore of the lake, is a fleeting moment. At the same time, people get through the long winter and those days when the sun never really gets above the horizon knowing that the wheel will turn and summer will come back in due course.

Autumn in Central Finland

My regret is always that I didn’t do enough over the summer. Or, rather, that I did too much, that I spent too much time indoors working and not enough down at the lake I see outside my window. There are a couple of places that I never go to this year. We didn’t get a chance to visit our favorite ice cream stand, the one that serves amazing flavors like tar and blue cheese. I didn’t get to go hike a favorite trail.

At the end of September is the equinox, when the day and night are of equal length. It’s all downhill from there until Christmas. The days get shorter, the sun doesn’t rise as high, and it’s gloomy and cold. Everything is damp, until real winter arrives around January and the temperature drops so low that all of the moisture freezes out of the air.

But this is a good time, too. At the equinox everyone puts up their lights, not Christmas light, just seasonal decorations as a stand taken against the darkness. There are a lot of seasonal foods, only available late in the year to keep them special, something to look forward to during the hardest part of the year. I’ve found that it’s my most creative and productive time of the year, as I embrace the coziness and the quiet and get writing done.

I need to let go of my regrets about missing summer, and lean into enjoying the coming Autumn.

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