Sunday, July 15, 2007

Finland, Finland, Finland

Finland, Finland, Finland
The country where I want to be
Pony trekking or camping
Or just watching TV
Finland, Finland, Finland
It's the country for me

We're back from Finland. It was a wonderful - and relaxing - vacation. I needed the time away from work and the regular stride of life.

I really adore Finland. Each time I go back to visit family I am struck with the same sense of magic as I was when I first went to there when I was 19.I first notice the beautiful people. I don’t know how else to describe it. It is that Scandinavian-blonde, dreamy-blue-eyed look that I find so irresistible - my wife being the epitome of this. It gives my first few days when arriving in Finland an unreal, almost Hollywood-esque feel. There are just too many attractive people around for it to be real.

The fantasy-feel continues with the colour green. There’s just so much of it in Finland. Finland is a country of thousands of lakes and islands; 187,888 lakes (larger than 500 m²) and 179,584 islands. The landscape is covered mostly (seventy-five percent of land area) by forests and fens. And it rains a lot. All this translates into lots of green growing things. And it is simply beautiful.

My initial experience stepping into a Finnish coniferous taiga forest was like stepping into a child’s story book. For a boy from New Mexico, it was surreal and miraculous and I half-expected elves and fairies to appear in the thick foliage. I still have that same sensation each time I walk through the forest.

I think the people are wonderful; I guess that comes as no surprise as I have a Finnish wife. And although the inherent shyness of Finns can still be maddening to me at times, they are munificent and affable once you get to know them.

Although I am happy to be back in New Mexico once again, back into the normal routine of life, I miss Finland – as I always do.
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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Back together

The two and a half weeks felt like much longer, but I'm finally reunited with my wonderful family. I joined them a week ago in Finland and I cannot describe the thrill running through me when I stepped through the exit doors at the Helsinki airport and saw them waiting for me. When the Chickabiddy came running at me full speed screaming "ISI! ISI!" at the top of her little lungs it was one of the best moments of my life.

"Happy" falls short as a description. "Elated" seems a little flat.

I'm most content in the role of husband and father. It is as simple - or as complicated - as that.

Right now my girls are sleeping soundly in the bedroom while I post this. It's early here, around 7:20 AM. I have been meaning to blog about the past week, but each time I sit down to write I find I don't know what to say. I am still overwhelmed just to be with them again.

The novelty of blue cheese pizza and rivers of martinis quickly faded, as I knew they would. This separation was imposed because of necessity, but I didn't like it one bit. And I'll do what I can do see that we have to be apart as little as possible from now on.

So let's just leave it at my joy of being able to hug my wife and daughter again. I know I'm blessed to have them in my life.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The year of...steel?

We've been married 11 years.

I know, I know. How the heck did I get so lucky? I have no idea. But believe me, I know that I lucked out on this one.

Eleven years of marriage. And the theme for year 11? Steel. Huh. With ten you get diamonds. Twelve is silk and linen. Thirteen textiles and lace. Fourteen gold and ivory. Fifteen crystal. So what's up with steel for 11?

Steel is an alloy consisting mostly of iron, with a carbon content between 0.02% and 1.7 or 2.04% by weight (C:1000–10,8.67Fe), depending on grade.

Wow! That's um...boring.

But steel is strong. (Like I believe our marriage is strong.) And really, steel is very pretty. Sure, maybe it is pretty because it looks like silver, but pretty still. Strong and pretty. That's not bad. When you look into it, steel does have spiritual significance. In Sikhism, the kara (one of the articles of faith) is made of steel to signify equality and strength. You can't ask for much more than that in a marriage.

If you combine steel with that ubiquitous symbol of marriage, the ring, what do you get? The circle is the symbol that best represents connectedness, since all regular polygons are embraced by it. It is without beginning or end and therefor it represents infinity. In numerous cultures it represents fidelity, eternal love and commitment.

OK, this steel thing is not looking so bad. A steel ring would represent an eternal bond through the infinitude of the circle and the unbreakable strength of steel. Nifty.

My wife likes jewelry. Perhaps she needs another ring. A steel one.

Happy anniversary, baby! I love you!