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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