There is a little place in Finland – so unpretentious – that invites you to come and relax for a few days. Its calming breeze seems to whisper, “You are your truest self with me, so drop your guard, inhale and exhale, and notice your contentment”.
It’s a place where nature envelops you with tranquility and its little birds tweet in the morning.
Other than that, all you can hear are the sounds of silence. And your own steps in the snow.
To get there, you must drive for a pretty long time in the countryside, before taking a left turn onto a dirt road in the forest.
A beautiful forest. Hilly – majestic in its simplicity.
It’s no touristic site, nor does it aspire any fame. It is just whole and happy to be what it is.
Ten kilometers down the dirt road, after various curves of peaceful expectation, you come to a little farm where the dogs start barking to announce your arrival, a few horses neigh behind a white wooden fence, and the lady in her late sixties who owns the place comes out to greet you with a warm smile and animated chatter. Her husband is a friendly man, too, though he talks much, much less.
They’ll lead the way, ten minutes further down to their lake and the little cottage you’ve rented to spend a few days. There, you can enjoy total privacy and solitude. Naps, the fireplace, healthy meals (and some Fazer chocolate, of course).
Anna loves jogging and walking around the lake. And all the hard work of carrying logs from the woodshed to the cottage.
The property has electricity, but no running water, which makes the whole experience even more special, as the water to do the dishes has to be fetched from the lake.
Once a day, you sit in the sauna and let it revive your whole being – body and soul – as you look out the sauna window at the amazing views, before a skinny dip in the hole in the ice.
Avanto, in Finnish.
For her, the place is loaded – but only with good memories and emotions. The first two times, she came here to celebrate a very white Christmas with Mr. Ex, their little kids and dear friends.
Santa Claus showed up too, making his way slowly to the cottage in the unblemished snow. Four-year-old Kristiina was so excited to meet Santa in person, but then she recognized our friend, “It’s Rick, it’s Rick!” she giggled happily, while Baby Joey slept through the whole thing.
Anna will always be grateful to Rick for introducing her to this place.
In the next chapter, permit me to forward our story to February 2017, a little over a year after Anna’s divorce.
This is the first time Anna is here at the cottage alone. All her stays have been special, but the best two were with CT2, aka Tinder Date #16, aka let’s wait and see.
Are you getting any curious? Well, if you’re patient…
…You might get a few glimpses into the warmest, most passionate parts of her sielu soon.
© 2017 rf
Obs. Next, flashforward to day 428 since moving out.