This year I decided to hit the eject button and escape to the Eastern Finland for the traditional Juhannus midsummer festival. Instead of partying in the city or having a fancy barbecue with pals what was in the books was a couple of days in a tent in an island with two of my oldest friends, Juha and Jere, and Juha’s three elementary school age kids.
After the break-up, the move and everything that naturally went with them I was pretty damn beat mentally and physically when it was the time for Juhannus, and still one week away from the start of my summer holidays. The idea of going for an uncomplicated camping trip into an island in Saimaa with some old pals and kids, who were at least as enthusiastic about turning over rocks and seeing what lives underneath as I am, sounded heavenly. Turned out it was just what the doctor ordered.
The first evening and the next day were spent in an active form of lazing consisting of cooking stuffed mushrooms and pancakes on a spirit stove, fishing with the kids from the boat and from the shore, going to bug catching trip with Jere (who does it for a living) and taking naps when needed. I think I must have slept during that day more than an average cat. It was pleasant to fall asleep listening to the soothing sound of the kids playing and the wind on the trees and the tent, and watching the sun and the branches dabble and paint light and shadows on the canvas.
We ended up spending just one night on the island instead of two, because the weather forecast promised rain for the night. Of course our tents were rainproof, but having to gather all the stuff three adults and three kids need in pouring rain wouldn’t have been too fun. We ended up going to Juha’s place to sauna and chat, and spent the next day walking around the town, seeing the sights and barbecuing what was left on the backyard grill.
What a fun and relaxing trip. Spending time with old pals and someone else’s kids who are in the age where they are active, sentient and interested in everything was goddamn burn balm for the brain.