There are moments when I feel a cold breeze surrounding me. But it’s all in my head. There are moments when I remember the solitude, the empowering solitude that made me and nature become one. There are moments like tonight that summon some of the dearest memories I have of my existence.
I have been struggling to find the right words to describe what I had felt then. Ever since. I tried to explain, at least to myself, what happened that night. And I am not sure I can. I just feel a lump in my throat and the tears coming to my eyes, but I cannot cry, for this is no reason to be sad. Right after that moment I was gasping for breath and I could barely speak although someone next to me was trying to have a conversation with me. I needed time for my mind to readjust to thinking about worldly matters.
There was a night in my life when I went out on deck on a boat. Surrounded by darkness, I was taken aback by the sound of the ship crushing through the ice and all I could do was stammer while I was receiving the wind straight to my chest and my face. I can still close my eyes at times and feel myself being immersed in that landscape, with the roaring sound of the boat through the frozen water in my ears. The lights of the city were yet too distant and barely visible. When I remembered that I could actually move, I turned my head and through the mist I saw a house on an island.
I could only think of nature at that time. All of a sudden everything and everyone had disappeared from the face of the Earth. There was nothing else but me and the elements. And I felt so small, completely enveloped in nature’s infinite folds. I thought of death too, but in that moment, death had nothing frightening anymore, it was the mere integration into that grand, enormous force I could feel everywhere around me. It was something so strong, so overpowering, yet I was not afraid, I knew I was not in danger, I was a part of nature.
And when I was all alone again, later that night, I broke into tears. I just laid down on my bed and let the tears come out of me. Because what I had felt was too strong, completely overwhelming, like nothing I had experienced before. The moment when I have probably felt more alive than ever before. This is what Finland did to me.