13 February 2009

Nordic dreams


“I've a friend who worked on an ice breaker ship that went to the Arctic regions. I have a feeling you would have been a good shipboard companion.”
So commented Bill Stankus in response to my post (scroll down a bit), “Your Wren at Work.” In it I bragged about shoveling a path through the snow from the patio slider, around the house and up the steep driveway to the lane. Now there’s a lot more snow out there and my path is buried. We’ve had 7 fresh inches since 5 a.m. Since the snowfall has finally stopped for a while, I’ll be out there again soon, but my muscles are a little sore-ish today. Heh. Guess what? I’m not looking forward to shoveling that snow quite so much this time.
But back to that comment. Bill, your feeling is spot on. In fact, you made me grin because one of the things I’ve most wanted to do in my life is to take a journey by ship – icebreaker or otherwise – to the Arctic. The fact of the deep cold and that I might get seasick doesn’t deter me in the least. Given the opportunity, I’d go. Tomorrow. I dream of icebergs, with their incredibly beautiful array of blues and purples contrasting with the white of snow and the black of the ocean they float on. I dream of seeing the mysterious and otherworldly aurora borealis shimmering and folding and flickering in the night sky. I dream of puffy parkas, mittens, scarves and hats, snowsuits and boots, blizzards and when they’re over, the primeval silence that falls over the world. And I have to admit, I dream of the comfort of coming in from the cold to the toasty warm, of tingly fingers and hot cups of joe spiked with a dollop of good brandy. Yes, I know. My dream is of something outside of the hard, actual reality I’d encounter in the Arctic. But it doesn’t stop me.
I really do think that my attraction to snow and cold is ancestral. A strong quarter of the blood in my veins is Finnish, and I have the blonde hair, blue eyes and pale skin to prove it. Another dream, this one less unrealistic, is to visit Finland someday and see it for myself. I’d like to go there and stay a few years so I could experience all the seasons and meet as many people and do as many things as possible. I’d write about it all. I’d take photographs. What would I do? I’d love to take a ride on a Finnish icebreaker; I’d love to go Nordic skiing through the vast forests of birch and pine, then bake for a while in a sauna before crawling beneath a thick feather blanket to sleep. I’d love to see real reindeer and again, the northern lights. This particular dream also includes train travel, a journey up the coast of Finland to Lapland and across, over to Norway and Sweden. Perhaps I’d even venture into Russia and see St. Petersburg, and Moscow. And of course, it would need to be winter. For the snow.
I know I’ve written way too much about the weather lately. But I can’t apologize. My delight in the snow, that cold, clear grey light that comes with it, and the glowing ultramarine of the snowy dawn is seated deep in my bones, my blood, my being, and my soul. I’m going to enjoy it while it’s here, because this is California. It won’t stay long.
Note: Once again, Blogger won't publish with the usual spaces between grafs. Anyone have any idea why?

4 comments:

Bill Stankus said...

My friend's ship was the US Coast Guard Polar Star. There are many good photos of it on the 'net.

btw, In Helsinki, it's very fashionable to dye your hair bright colors - purple and red kinds of bright.

matthew said...

You do understand, don't you, that when you do take that trip to Finland you will have a sidekick? : D

matthew said...

Oops. Matt must be signed into his hotmail right now, not me lol 'Tis your darling daughter here, incognito, apparently. ;)

Wren said...

Oh, absolutely, darling-but-incognito daughter. I could never go to Finland without YOU. Plus, if you go with me, I can just leave my hair blonde. You can dye yours a nice purple with red streaks so we'll fit in with the natives. Just don't pack any orange clothes. ;o)