I Found It!

When my brother and I were children, we loved playing “hot and cold”. One of us would hide a small object and the other would be the hunter who would try to find it. The closer the hunter got to the object, the more the other person would call “hotter, hotter!”… and finally: “now it’s burning”!! ⁠

That game we used to play as children, came to mind, as I travelled through Finland. If you are a migrant or a child of a migrant, you would well understand the questions that rise from deep within, questions such as “Where do I belong?”, “What place in the world defines me?” ⁠

I experienced powerful emotions when I returned to my roots. When I landed at Helsinki Vantaa airport, I could almost hear my brother calling: “hotter, hotter…” ⁠

But it was one sunny day, while visiting my childhood summer cottage, when I finally heard: “now it’s burning!” I broke down in tears as I was transported back to my childhood! I felt like that little girl, walking barefoot around my own yard. The sights, the smells, the emotions, the depth of memories, all so overwhelming. Sometimes we feel something so deeply, that our emotions bypass our brain. This is what happened to me.⁠

When the current owner of the cottage invited us inside, that is when I experienced the THIS IS IT moment. I found MY roots, tucked in the corner of the cottage. There stood a chest of drawers that my mother had bought for my baby clothes while she was expecting me! Now I could hear my brother calling “Jaana you have found it!” My roots, tucked in a corner of a little summer cottage, in Itä-Pakila, Helsinki, Finland.

Even though the cottage had been restored, this chest of drawers had stood there untouched since 1966. That chest of drawers was a representation of my personal roots and the significance of a person knowing and finding them. I came to realise that a person without the knowledge of their history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.⁠ And isn’t it in our roots where our growth is found?

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Silvo Viskari says:

    Love to read these stories🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You just made me smile! Thank you!!!


  2. Anne-Marie says:

    It is a delightful picture! I am reminded of Patrick Olivers words, “The Spirit sends us on adventures but the soul brings us home”. Also, I am loving thinking about ourselves not as objects but as processes for nothing is static.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ultimately we are all just travelling through, our final home is not on this earth, but I believe there is still something in each of us that longs to know our roots, our heritage, to find that feeling of belonging.


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