White Christmas

I have only ever had one white Christmas as an adult, and it was truly magical. My family lived in a small country town in the eastern side of Finland, 60 kilometres from the Russian boarder, called Savitaipale. This is where my paternal grandfather’s side of the family is from. The town is so small,…

Childhood Home

Written by Jaana Jokinen, told by my mother Mirja Anneli September 1949 in Kallio, Helsinki, Finland Slowly but surely, the days were getting colder and darker. School was back and autumn was upon us. I have always been a summer person, so even as an 8-year-old I wasn’t too happy about the changing weather. There…

Changing Seasons

The seasons come and the seasons change. Time keeps rolling on. The journey of life sometimes feels long, but it is not endless. The last days of summer, of early life and youth are behind me now, they are but a distant memory. During my summer days, I felt fearless, spontaneous, dynamic, and self-confident. I…

Homesickness

I was struck by a feeling of homesickness this afternoon. Most of the time I go about my life without feeling it, yet every now and then it hits me full force. Being Finnish-Australian, I do add a touch of Finnish into my everyday life in any way I know how. I have moomins, Marimekko,…

Fabric of Life

When you think about the fabric of your life lived so far, what colour threads do you see? Which are the dominant colours? What patterns are evident in your tapestry? If every experience is a stitch in the intricately woven fabric of your life, then how have you been stitched together by the fibres of…

The Fire

Written by Jaana Jokinen, told by my maternal grandmother Hilja Maria 13th March 1913 in Joroinen, Finland It was a cold, early spring day in Northern Savonia, in the Eastern part of Finland, where my family lived. Joroinen is often called the “Paris of the Savonia” because in the 1700s the noblemen mainly spoke French….

Light Mind

Being originally from Finland, but living in Australia, I have often been asked what a Finnish sense of humour is like. If you are a Finn, you would understand just how challenging it is to explain it! Customs and beliefs are easy to explain but a sense of humour is not. A lot has been…

Interlude

This year I have found myself in circumstances, I wouldn’t wish on anybody. Yet, it’s those situations that have taught me a great deal, given me pause and caused me to stop and think. Earlier in the year I was hospitalised after contracting Covid. There are a couple of ways to look at the same…

A Dying Art

Disney’s Belle is one of the best fictional bookworms around. When the Beast gives Belle her very own key to his magnificent library, cream-coloured double doors open to showcase paintings, a writing desk, a spectacular fireplace, spiral staircases, floor rugs, and some reading chairs on the colourful ceramic floor. But most importantly, the walls are…

Escape

The tougher life gets, the more I tend to daydream of escaping. The dictionary tells me the definition of escape is: “to get free from something”. We press the key on our computer keyboards which allows us to leave our current screen.  We interrupt a process by pressing the “esc” key. I wish it was…