The Easy Road

This.  This is it, I thought, though I didn’t really know what “it” was.

From where I stood on the summit of Morgam-Viibus, the rolling hills of Lemmenjoki stretched out for miles and the magnitude of what I had just done (in that moment, in the nine days leading up to it, in these four months in Finland, in the past year, in the past six years, in my life) crashed over me like the sand and fury at the bottom of a wave.  Annukka and Jooperi sheltered behind some rocks below, and I knew that this time I couldn’t blame the tears in my eyes on the wind.

Our path to this moment was the pinnacle of my journey, and it was far more difficult and beautiful than either of us could have imagined.  We struggled, we laughed, we argued, we sang, we cried, we learned, we lost the dog, we found the dog, we conquered.  We never, ever took the easy road (though sometimes we tried).

I have wrestled for days to choose the right words from the ones rolling around in my heart, my head and my journal, but none of them are quite ready to come out.  I wonder if I even found them, if they would sit obediently on the internet.  Maybe not.  For the first time, the fact that I am writing a book about this journey feels like sweet relief.

For now, all I’ve got is the top of Morgam-Viibus.

This. This is it, I thought, though I didn’t really know what “it” was.
This is what it feels like when you dream something, and then you make it come true.
This is where words meet life, so clear and close, the place where writing about living is not the same as living.
This is what we all come to, and this is what we all fight, and if we are lucky enough to lose, our lives burn again with the beauty of what we do not know.

The song in this video, “My Silver Lining” by First Aid Kit, became our theme song.  My ukulele rendition can be downloaded for free here.  May it keep you company in your own travels.

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4 Comments on “The Easy Road

  1. Jenny
    Congratulations fabulous trips to Lemmenjoki, atmospheric music, and the beautiful photographs, which brought back to me many trips to the same scenery of the Sotajoki, Ivalojoki, Kuttura, Morgam-Viibus and Lemmenjoki.
    Thank you for your stay in Finland. I’m just about to leave for a week to Inari, Ivalo and Tankavaara, I will go back home on Sunday 5.10.
    Seppo J.

  2. From Arnold Pieterse (the comment section wasn’t working for him):

    “Your photo’s and video are magnificent. Mauno Pyhtilä has lyrically described in his book the landscape in which Petronella and Klaus have hiked around. Now I know what he has meant.”

  3. I love you! Thank you for sharing your journey with words, images, music and so much heart.

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