Today, on the bike ride to the school, there were orange leaves on the sidewalks. I’m so excited. Fall is my favorite time of year because I love sweater weather, the rosy cheeks, a warm drink in my hand, the accompanying fantasy novel, and above it all, the changing colors. I am so blessed to be in Central Finland to watch the seasons change. I’m excited to see how northern Europe reacts to Nature’s nap time different than the Midwest.
Already, as soon as I arrived here in fact, the air felt crisp like October, but none too soon, the forest is reacting. I hope autumn is long and the snow only happens once at the end because, as much as I find snow lovely, it is only so from the comfort of my centrally heated living room with a cup of cocoa in my hands. I have to ride my bike through it here.
I’m finding my university more beautiful every time I walk through it. At home, the campus feels like it’s own little city center. There is nature, but the nature is set aside and preserved while the campus cuts through it. Here, the campus is nature. Instead of cutting out land to build the school, it feels as if the school grew up out of the forest floor with the trees as equals. The roads that cut through the campus are few, the paths to get from building to building are often just worn down from travelers’ bikes or feet, and other times walking paths of simple rock.
Being in Jyväskylä has conditioned me to appreciate the rain in a way I never have before. At home, rain means a lazy day inside, bingeing Netflix or reading a book while waiting out the storm. Here though, the rain almost never means a storm, and seems to never slow anyone down. Truthfully, if rain slowed down this city, nothing would ever get accomplished. There have been three sunny days since I arrived here. Three. So the city thrives in the rain.
As the semester moves closer and closer to that dreaded northern hemisphere winter, I will delight in the changing moods of the season that I love. After all, I chose this life 😉
“In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.“ – Psalm 95:4-5