An hour ago,
I left M on her own in the kindergarten.
“Say goodbye daddy, we will take care of her”,
teachers rushed me gently.
I explained that I am leaving her in good hands,
That she will play, eat and sleep there,
And as soon as she knows,
I will be back to pick her up.
As I was leaving,
I glanced back and saw one of the teachers,
Playing with her in the sandbox.
One hour has passed since then;
Four hours left to go.
We set off to the national park,
The Sun was high,
The car was full.
M was reading how Herra Hakkarainen brushes teeth,
And from time to time observing other cars trough the window.
We parked and walked down the road,
To the wooden bridge,
And the thick forest opened.
Under the bridge,
Sea water that run trough the narrow channel,
On the other side of the bridge,
A tree next to a tree,
Moss, blueberry bushes and no chanterelles.
We dove in into the blueberry bushes,
Surrounded by sea on both sides.
M was hopping around,
And from time to time came close to us,
To demonstrate the blueberry quality control method,
Also known as: reverse blueberry picking.
After we joined blueberries from two half-filled butter containers,
And closed the lid firmly,
We sat on a rock,
On the edge of the forest,
At the shore,
To eat sandwiches and drink water.
Not more then a minute after that,
Grandma walked away into an unknown direction,
Searching for chanterelles that were not there,
Allowing more and more trees to hide her from us.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that she was lost,
As she found her way back,
Although a moment of anxiety did occur,
While in my mind I was answering the question:
How to find a person in the forest,
Without a phone,
Wearing a black jacket.
Back at home,
We sampled the blueberries,
Offered M a generous portion,
Put the current date on a container,
And froze it.
In our lungs,
A fragrant smell of moss and trees,
In our minds,
Remained for a while.
We opened the balcony door,
To water two buckets with potatoes that grew half a meter high,
Two rows of strawberries,
An avocado (that lost its last leaf a few weeks ago),
And a few plants that I can’t remember what are they called.
M was pouring water into the first bucket.
Keeping a constant eye on the potato plant,
She turned the soil – into a puddle,
And then moved to the strawberries that were peeking from the wooden box.
Not much water was left in her green watering can,
So, most of the fragile plants
What was intended to be,
A heavy water splash.
At the edge of the box,
A small red bud was staring at us.
We held the stem and helped M to pick her first berry on our balcony.
M and the strawberry in the kitchen –
I washed it under cold water,
Removed ‘the green part that shouldn’t be eaten’
And gave the red part back to M –
Who was all that time,
Observing the process,
With the utmost patience.
Then she took the strawberry, smelled it and put it in her mouth.
Was it good, I asked?
She nodded her head while the strawberry was disappearing.
There will be plenty where this one came from.
But none of them will be the first.
The first is gone,
In the moment that will stay,
Safely stored in the memories of our past.
My parents have been walking trough life wounded,
From the scars they've been carrying,
Their whole life.
A new day,
Brought a new scar,
While the old ones never healed.
(The old) scars cut deeper and deeper.
Until one day,
Their souls started to bleed.
And how does one fix a bleeding soul?
When we went out,
The Sun was warm and bright.
It felt like the city was empty.
M was happy to sit in the pram,
Under her seat,
The bags full of goodies rattled.
In the park,
Sitting on camping chairs, splashing with water, playing kubb.
No pole, no dancing, no rain,
But that’s not why we came,
Blanket, pasta; and a fork in M’s hand.
In the sandbox next to us,
Kids walk barefoot; spades and buckets,
And a ball.
Time passes by,
On a swing, a little hill, or a slide,
While loading the bucket with sand or trying to kick the ball.
In the evening – we are home,
The Sun still shines,
On our balcony little red flowers are turning into strawberries.
My parents did everything they knew,
And possibly – the best they could,
To give me a better future.
I live life,
Far better than they lived,
When they where young.
I live in the future,
That just wasn’t possible for them.
I live the future, I’ve created,
In a home, I’ve created,
I live in a home far away from home,
I live in a home that feels like home.
I was lying like having been beaten on that big, overdimensioned armchair,
Brain dead but functional.
You were sitting on that new stylish sofa,
Worn out, but looking sharp and pretty as always.
In front of you, in front of me,
M was sitting on the carpet,
Trying to build a tower of cardboard boxes.
You asked me what we have in common.
After unsuccessfully running the comparisons,
For (what felt like) several minutes,
I said – only the future.