Once again this writing comes from the rocky island escorted by a gentle wind. The topic of reflection is the past summer and its dramatic energies and events. I have never studied weather forecasts before, it has been enough to see the weather in the morning. But living on an island has inevitably changed that. It has been necessary to study and observe changes in the weather and the new winds. Summer retreats have brought new and old friends to us and we have had the responsibility for their safe journey to and from the island. It has been the same with the many course-goers, visitors, and people who spent their solar time with us here during the summer. I’ve had to anticipate and study to make sure everything went well. I have become a great wind sniffer, an observer of the direction of clouds, and birds, and the rhythm of the waves. I smell the rain an hour before, prepare to capture valuable drops of water and collect the dry laundry for cover and lift the pots from under the canopy into a cooling bath.
From one moment to the next everything here on the island and the sea surrounding it changes. We are not quite at the outer archipelago, on its rugged treeless cliffs, but far enough so that the open sea and its movements bring rapid changes.
The sea is marvelous and respect for its power has increased this summer. Even though I was raised on the West Coast of Finland and I am used to the sea, the open sea here in the south is completely different from the Gulf of Bothnia. In the Vaasa archipelago, the waterway is considered to be good if there are more than three meters of water in the inner archipelago. Here, the fathometer often shows more than thirty meters under the keel of the boat. The largest open sea we cross when we travel to the island is fifty meters deep and even over in a few of its points. In my own mind, I often draw a small mountain landscape beneath the surface of the sea and we only see the peaks that rise so diversely around us. There are narrow canyons along our way, the water’s edge almost tickles the side of the boat and yet the water under us is forty meters deep.
In addition to the sea, the cliffs are the object of my eyes every day. Soft, warm surfaces change color and shapes move with clouds and sun. Even in these, an ever-changing surface, like in the sea. My love for Mother Earth deepens and gratitude increases. One feels and wants to watch this beauty and changing space all the time and moment by moment. Every morning, a new shade in the bay and on the cliffs under your feet. Every night, a new burning shade as the sun slips into the sea in front of your eyes.
I’m so small alongside all this greatness. Like a butterfly struggling against the wind, trying, again and again, to reach the inviting flower, even if the wind whistles it off course many times. It flaps towards the fragrant blue so sure of its own direction. I admire that, too, and its power to pursue the goal.
At least we can follow the weather forecasts, just in case. But this summer has shown us how flimsy they are, only really indicative, if even that. Many times the wind has risen and even escalated to a brisk level of more than ten to fifteen meters per second, even though the forecast had promised a calm and serene sea. It has also happened that the wind has come a day early and stronger than predicted. Rains were also forecast during the beginning of early summer, but they never arrived. Forecasting is difficult because everything in nature has changed and the balance has been shaken.
We spent six weeks in a row on the island without a drop of water, escaping the heat and sometimes tormenting sunshine. Fortunately, the well on the island served well throughout the summer and we and our plants got to drink fresh water sufficiently. It is to be thanked for so much, as it saved all our plants in the growing boxes and in the greenhouse.
Birch trees on this island and almost all the islands in this region have greatly suffered and are already spending their autumn, leafless and downward-looking. Many alder trees also carry their brown suits sadly and overwhelmed by drought. And that was already the case at the end of July.
Everything that has happened this summer has made us think, once again, about the irresponsibility of us people, about the choices that have not been right for this great entirety but based on the benefit of an individual or a nation. Summer has shown how small we humans really are in front of and in the midst of all the forces of nature, even though we have this great god = technological development and its achievements, even those weather forecasts.
The whole planet has been undergoing devastating changes and once again the suffering has increased, both for people and for the planet. Even so, there are still those who say belittlingly, that this is nothing, after all, we have had these before. Environmental reports are shrugged upon, they do not concern me, and I don’t want to know or the media makes glooming headlines of great destruction, stirring up fear and overindulging in it with all the headlines. But where are the perpetrators, the transformers of the situation, common sense, and GREAT WILL to change the direction that clearly takes us towards harsher conditions in every corner of the planet?. Why are we waiting? Why don’t we join together? Why doesn’t anyone take on the role of leader, set an example, and tell us what we can do? Why don’t we oppose this bad direction even though we follow a Swedish girl’s youtube videos that have a message on them? Why do we surrender to those forces that may eventually destroy the entire beautiful, divine plan of wonderful cooperation between Mother Earth and humanity.
Mother Earth is crying, I can hear it on every rock where a standing dead birch shakes down its last leaves. I hear the whole nature bemoaning, the water murmuring in agony, and the lost birds screaming, because the ocean currents and winds have become unpredictable. The balance is gone, thanks to the choices and immense selfishness of humanity.
So, the big question that remains after this summer is, what can we do to ensure that all this beautiful and wonderful is not destroyed once and for all, or is there anything left to be done?
I turn towards the sky, admiring the sun’s slide into the sea, the wind has calmed down and the sea is lapping in a golden color. A large archipelago spider has weaved a new curtain in front of a large window as if to protect us from the sun’s last bright rays. The dogs sigh almost at the same time in their own beds, their evening walk on the rocks was missed today due to a rain shower that quickly drenches the surfaces of the rock to as slippery as ice. The night approaches again a little earlier than yesterday, all is fine at this moment. But I still can’t completely forget, because somewhere someone suffers, someone fights the forces of nature, defending their home. It is time to turn to the Great Force and ask for help and wisdom, compassion for all living beings. As long as there is suffering, we must act to eradicate it. Waking up one by one and finally joining together for the sake of a good and important goal.