Sky’s the Limit.

During my stay in Finland I always started the work-day early, and spent the evenings grafting till late at the lodge’s bar…the rule was I had to work until the last person decided to go to bed. Then I could shut up shop, and finally get some much needed sleep. So I could do the whole thing all over again!

Anyway, what this meant in practice, was that I would often be left with one stubborn person, just sitting there…and I’d have to awkwardly try and steer them out, without it becoming too obvious…

Please GIF

So I would try a line like: “You must be tired after your busy itinerary today!” or “You have an early start tomorrow don’t you? Snow-shoe walk, right?” or “CAN YOU PLEASE FUCK OFF, THIS IS TORTURE! SIT IN YOUR ROOM, OR THE LOUNGE – YOU HAVEN’T HAD A DRINK FOR TWO HOURS NOW, HAVE A HEEEEEAAAART!”

Well yeah, I couldn’t say that one – but I always felt tempted. I also considered pointing to the huge bags under my eyes – which were solely created due to the fact I served them their early breakfast, and their late night drinks…but I thought that would be classed as “unprofessional” behaviour at best, deranged at worst. So decided against it.

But thankfully, eventually they would leave, and I would do a little jig in celebration (or at least I would if I had the energy!) Soon enough I would be outside, alone under the stars, with the expanse of the Finnish arctic to contend with…

Cold Frozen GIF

But you know what? I didn’t mind! As I had a glorious walk back to my lodgings…a fantastically clear sky, with the entire Milky Way up above me…the richest black tapestry, with magnificently bright sequins sewn on as far as the eye could see…no light pollution, or any other pollution for that matter, meant that it felt as if it was just me and the universe. I could have looked at it forever, and often did become entranced at its unparalleled beauty.

But then something else would happen, if I was lucky!  A resplendent natural reaction would on occasion skip across the sky…often a vague watercolour, but sometimes damp amazing hues…greenish rays of light, scratched across the already fascinating backdrop.

The Northern Lights…Aurora Borealis…whatever you want to call it – you see photos, and you think “wow!” but we are so used to photo editing, special effects ,and whatever else these days, that this strips us of some of our amazement when it comes to seeing things on screen. This isn’t true when we see it in plain sight…it truly takes your breath away – all you can do is be a servant to its whims, huff and puff in the cold as you gaze longingly at its fantastic brushstrokes…

I met many people who paid expensive packages to come out and marvel at the natural beauty it provides, but were unfortunate enough to not catch it…and here I was…scrubbing their toilets, but getting to look at such magnificence.

Northern Lights GIF

But under all of this natural beauty, I felt minute…insignificant I suppose – which would make my petty concerns, and grievances even less meaningful in the scheme of things. It put it all into perspective I should say. Certainly helped me sleep more soundly…until the next day, of course…my point is that even thought this world is filled with such man-made hate, there is so much natural beauty out there to enjoy, should you go looking for it…

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45 thoughts on “Sky’s the Limit.

  1. As a kid I used to get a great view of the aurora borealis from northern New York State and Canada, seasonally of course. Haven’t seen it in well over a decade now but there was something magical about it indeed. You’ve captured its beauty and simplicity and depth quite fantastically here!

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  2. I just was watching the show Once Upon a Time which had Frozen characters and well also a Northern Lights moment so yeah adjacent to this this synchronicity was perfect. So you walked as a barmaid hehehe actually a restaurateur or an employee in a bar/cafe? Seems interesting. Nowadays people have many professions so a good thing you can be a jack of many trades by default. But yeah there is something deep feeling about the stars with their geography of night with it planking out but also inundating in ripples with those lights making you feel you are a universe adjoining the cosmic one. Awesome feelings. I noticed nature makes one less exhausted. Open spaces make you less exhausted. Confinement rarely does that unless you are wholesomely distracted by that confinement 🙂

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  3. I’m going to Finland on Boxing Day four 4 or 5 days. I’m really looking forward to it! I get what you mean though, about customers who just take their time to leave, I mean I used to be a waitress and there was this one time and there were about 5 people all at the same table and they were having a nice little chat, while we were just standing there awkwardly like… Okay… you take your time there. But then they gave me a tip so that was nice of them 😉

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  4. What would we do if we couldn’t escape into nature once in a while? Probably sit in a bar all night and irritate bartenders. I spent a year in Iceland, and can attest to some magnificent displays of the aurora. But as you indicate, they are unpredictable.

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  5. Exactly, John! If you don’t like what you see, you always have the choice to look into a different direction. There is beauty in everything. Sometimes we only need to turn our head.

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  6. It’s always healthy to remember that we aren’t the center of our own universes. We easily get caught up in the little things, what we are going to wear today, a deadline for a paper, a meeting we have to go to… It’s nice to just take a step back and realize that it’s not all that bad. Thanks for sharing John, hope your week is going swell

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  7. Thanks for liking my post that doesn’t happen very often. I guess I should look into this blog community more often. Was nice to read your post will keep checking. That northern light must of taken all your tiredness away. Call it luck but maybe some people are looking in the wrong places for the beauty.

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