Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer's lease

I have blogged about the Finnish affinity for the kesä mökki or summer house. Seemingly everyone has one. A kesä mökki is usually a small home lacking plumbing or other amenities so the family can enjoy the togetherness of survival without television.

We have a kesä mökki of sorts. It is on a lake...however, it is has many mod cons. You do have that feeling of being away from it all especially as there is no cell phone coverage or high speed internet access!

Above are some pictures of the kesä mökki in Canada. The water level of the lake changes drastically on our shore in the winter so that any lake side sauna would need to be on wheels.

The lack of high speed internet access in rural parts of New Hampshire or New Brunswick contrasts sharply with the Finnish guarantee of high speed internet access to all. The Finnish government realizes that people living in more rural parts of the country are excluded from modern civic engagement if they are unable to meaningfully use a computer.

Without my wireless internet server I would be unable to fritter away my time on the computer or on my iphone. My iphone is full of fennophile gadgets: Radio Finland, Word Power, Hei Finland. I can listen to Turun Radio while I make dinner.

My daughter leaves tomorrow for what must be a peculiarly American institution: sleep away camp. Two weeks in the equivalent of kesä mökki on a beautiful lake in northern New Hampshire. Ipods are contraband at the camp.

Her departure for camp heralds the close of summer...Summer's lease hath all too short a date. This has been a particularly Shakespearean summer, especially in Finland where the highest temperature on single day was set near Joensuu--37.2. Hesari keeps using the word "helle" meaning heat or hot weather. It makes me smile because it is so similar to our word, hell.

I will close with Sonnet 18--a love poem but the nature imagery seems apt when I think of the July that Finland experienced and the hot weather scorching the southern states.

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date,
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

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