" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

June 30, 2009


When I saw this scene as I wandered through Duck Creek Park last night I couldn't help think of the summer I spent in Finland.

The Kuisma's had a cottage about 1.5 hours from their small flat in Lahti. We would spend most of the summer out there and shortly after arriving we helped the local farmer with haying, except the haying was done by hand. A tractor would put a long pointed post into the ground, men would make sure it was in properly and then the rest of us would take our pitch forks, and keep piling hay over top until instead of the perfectly round ball above, the hay would be in a more oblong shape, pointed at top. Man, that was hard work. And, that was when I was in pretty good shape.

We got up early and by lunch time the women of the farm would have made a huge meal, a Sunday dinner type of meal with meat and potatoes and Finnish food that I can not now even recall. I remember the long wooden table was outside and feeling the comradarie even though they were all speaking Finnish and laughing and every once in a while making some effort to include me in the conversation by smiling and nodding in my direction.

It's isolating not being able to speak the language of the country you're in. It's an exercise in patience and observation. Maybe we should think of that the next time we meet someone in Canada who can't speak English because they are a new immigrant.

This photo announces Summer, although I'm a week late. Happy Summer!

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