Autumn Leaves

Soundtrack: Chet Baker & Paul Desmond: Autumn Leaves (from the album Together)

Have you heard about Finnish midsummer when the sun won´t go down at all? Well it´s the opposite during the winter.

Yep. Autumn is coming fast. Here in Finland, at the Northern premises of Europe, days are turning out shorter than they were a month ago. The sun escapes from us earlier day by day and it doesn´t rise as early as it used to.  We are preparing ourselves for the windy autumn which eventually leads us to a long, frosty and snowy winter.  Get your D -vitamin cans ready!

“The Land of Extremes”, that´s what they say about the Finnish seasons. We have approximately three months of summer which (if lucky) can turn out to be warm and sunny time of the year. September is the turning point when we are forced to wear jackets, rubber boots and gloves. Those who adore warmth may even wear long johns.

First the trees are turning their leaves in colors of yellow, red, orange and rust before they drop them all to the ground leaving the trees pale and naked. Birds are abandoning us and they are flying to Gran Canaria for the winter. Some of our pensioners does the same. I don´t blame them: the winter really gets to your bones.

How do you survive such a cold weather, long dark days and chilly mornings knowing that the dawn is 9 am and the dusk 4 pm? I have created a list of things you can do in order to survive from the windy and rainy autumn and “arschkalt” winter:

  1. HOPE. The summer is coming every year. You have to hope that some day there will be warmth again, people are not wearing parka jackets and every freaking lake is not frozen. There will be light!
  2. HOBBY. Autumn is THE best time of the year to start something new. A new hobby keeps your mind fresh and out of the reality what is happening with our weather and nature. If you´re an enthusiastic runner, say hello to a running mat!
  3. GET ENTERTAINED. Stay close to your friends and family and do something entertaining with them. Go to a movie, visit an art exhibition, make food together or just chill out and concentrate on the people and things you love.
  4. TRAVEL. If you just can´t stand the weather in Finland, book a flight by your choosing and make yourself comfortable in somewhere else.

There´s also another way to survive: get used to it and enjoy! Autumn is the time of mushrooms which we have a lot in our beautiful forests. For instance funnel chanterelle is the perfect choice for risotto. And if you´re like me and like running, the Autumn is my favorite time for a long run because the weather is not too hot and not too cold. Occasional rains may occur but hey, it´s just water! When the winter comes it´s time for cross country skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing and ice swimming! It´s just the way how you look at it.

For me the autumn and winter brings tons of cool new experiences and old classics (such as ice swimming). It´s really the time of the year when you can feel how the nature is transforming it´s camouflage and preparing itself to something new. Maybe we should just follow mother nature´s example, update our wardrobe and take a fresh start with something new and exciting.

Jaakko Vuorio

Summer Trainee
Tampere, Finland

PS. This was my last post for the Metso Trainee Blog this summer. I´m continuing my studies at the University of Tampere and starting my Master´s studies in education and social research. Thank you all for reading and have a great autumn!

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