Monday, July 15, 2013

Sielunmaisema- my soul landscape

I learned a Finnish word awhile ago while I was visiting a friend, sielumaisema. It means “soul landscape.” It can be described as the landscape that "hits you in the center of your chest, the one you always carry with you, the one that immediately feels like home." The idea of it has come back to me several times in the last few weeks as I reflect on my trip and this grand adventure. I have been thinking about my own sielumaisema and how lucky I am that I can feel at home in so many places in the world. This one shouldn't be hard from the pictures below, but can you guess what my sielumaisema is?

Helsinki, Finland- January
Oulu, Finland- February
Tampere, Finland- March
Bruges, Belgium- March
Amsterdam, Netherlands- March
Berlin, Germany- March
Potsdam, Germany- March 
Somewhere in Sweden (I was on a boat!)- April 
Stockholm, Sweden- April 
Inari, Finland- April
Algarve Coast, Portugal- April
Tuusniemi, Finland- May
St. Petersburg, Russia- May
St. Petersburg, Russia- May
Jyväskylä, Finland- May
Bengtskär Lighthouse, Finland- June  
Suomenliina, Finland- June
Tallinn, Estonia- June
Jyväskylä, Finland- June

Jyväskylä, Finland- July
Whether it is frozen or shimmering in the sun, water calms my soul and makes everything in the world right again. Living in the lakeland part of Finland, was an unexpected surprise that provided so many peaceful days and has truly made me feel at home during this season. Combine this beauty with amazing friends and it makes for a hard goodbye to Jyväskylä. 

I am currently on a train headed to Helsinki for a day and then on to a few more stops (Poland, Iceland and France) before I come home to DC in early August. I wish you could be with me to see the landscape and the raw beauty this country has to offer. In hindsight, it is probably not the wisest thing to go through 7 months of photos to remind you of how great the place is that you are getting ready to leave. I am feeling a little melancholy already for my days in Finland and longing for my sielunmaisema.

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