Aurinko Paistaa ( The sun is shining )

I’ve always loved the sun, which is not great in New Zealand where we are exposed to high levels of UV rays. But my love affair with the sun is even more pronounced here in Finland, where it has become something of a long distance love affair.

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I realise now there is a strong difference between sunlight and sunshine. One marks the day and one warms the skin. The second is now returning after a long hiatus and seriously, I could weep with joy. Which makes a nice difference from the day I wept on the way home from Finnish class for no real reason – other than lack of Vitamin D.

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I’ve done my first Finnish winter now and spring has never felt so good. The difference in the trees is amazing, week to week, and the presence of birds and flowers is increasing.

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On a recent walk from Hietalahti Market Square to Merekatu I was delighted to see the outdoor market growing in size once again.

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I also came across this sculpture by Rafael Saifulin called Onni.

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Onni means happiness or bliss. To me he’s really captured the pleasure of feeling the sun on your face once again.

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Although fairly weak, the sun is now up from 4am to 10pm in Helsinki, with a month to go until summer solstice. Miko told me he can’t go to bed until the sun goes down, but considering that won’t really be until October, honestly, he’s kidding himself.

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Like most Finns we are now eating ice cream any chance we get. The funny thing is, as good as it feels, it’s still only 10 degrees outside.

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But that’s okay, the sun is back and we’ve learnt to savour it while we have it.

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16 thoughts on “Aurinko Paistaa ( The sun is shining )

  1. Nice blog, and yeah, it’s been beautiful the last few days. One thing is sticking out to me though…

    Let’s just say I’ve been asked several times now how I could have left Florida for Finland, am I crazy, mentally insane, etc. It got kind of annoying after a while, because, hey, there’s a place and reason for everyone and everything, but seeing that you moved to Finland from New Zealand, yeah, now I understand their questions. 🙂

    Those six days in New Zealand were the best of my life. Nothing in the last ten years since has even come close.

    But yeah, really nice thoughts. Really like the part about the sunlight and the sunshine.

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    • Hey, thanks for your comments. I get asked a lot, “Why are you here? How do you like it? How long will you stay?” I guess they’re are the natural thoughts of a country so far from many other places. I’m glad to hear you liked NZ so much. Sounds like you must have got some good sunshine while you were there too. All the best, Mel

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  2. Hey Mel, enjoying your blog!
    Worst sunburn I’ve ever had was in Ireland – Land of the Long Wet Cloud as far as I was concerned😩 So when that sun came out, wow! I just loved that feeling on my skin… But beware you girl from NZ where you can actually feel your skin starting to sizzle – there was no such warning from the Irish sunshine 😡.
    Keep up the good work, Raylene x

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    • Thanks Raylene. I know what you mean, Jonathan always said being in Australia was like being in the oven and being in NZ was like being under the grill. Not as high temperatures but a skin-sizzling sun. I’ll try to remember your advice as we start to shed our layers. Thanks for your comments xx

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  3. Even though the Spring I experience seems to touch me a little closer and a little sooner than yours seems to do in Helsinki, I feel as though I understand your giddyness at its approach — I have felt the same way when, in late March and early April, I began to see the hint of green things to come; when I began to smell the difference in the air, that of melting snow and softening earth. There is a park not far from me, and I try to get there at least once a week from now through November, to climb the small “mountain” that affords a walk through a woodland area that remains itself while so much around it has been swallowed by progress. I relish the Spring, and the sunshine, and the bird calls and wildflowers.

    But really, this was just my very long-winded way of saying, thank you for sharing, and Happy Spring to you!

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    • Thanks Carrie, beautiful images of your park and your spring. I can just imagine them. As much as I love the sun I do like living in places where you have distinct seasons so you can appreciate the changes. Happy spring to you too ; )

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  4. i know what you mean
    spend a week in helsinki and spring was so much nicer than in berlin, although the temps in berlin are much higher at the moment (but interestingly i am freezing more in berlin than in helsinki)

    anyway, had to laugh on this sweet idea of your little one

    ” Miko told me he can’t go to bed until the sun goes down, ”

    reminded me of my son, who refused to go to bed until it started to get dark, when he was around 3 or 4 years old 😀
    sleep came quicker than the darkness.

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    • ; ) Luckily he slept a lot over winter as he now wakes super early too and insists at getting up because the sun is already up! It is much easier to rise now that the sun is up though. It’s like we need less sleep during summer here, as though it’s one long circadian rhythm spread out over the course of a year. Thanks for your thoughts Helen ; )

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  5. Pingback: 101 reasons to visit Helsinki | Hey Helsinki

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