Long ago, people believed that the North was inhabited by gods, giants, ghosts and spirits. The supernatural beings had molded the fells and riverbeds, and raised the fish in the lakes and grown the berries in the forests. It was easier to engage in dialogue with the nature and hope for better hunting when it had human features. Ilmarinen set the moon and the sun in place, Ahti gave the fish and Ukko dropped the rain from the sky. One was never allowed to enter the forest too defiantly and the catch had to be thanked by the forest god afterwards.


Perhaps tens of thousands of years ago somebody was skiing in this wilderness too. How did they survive in the cold? There were no wilderness huts nor tinders waiting outside the fireplace.

One night we sleep outside, in a lean-to shelter. Thick sleeping bag heats up. That night the Northern lights are dancing in the sky. It's so quiet. The fire foxes are frolicking there, might our ancestors have said and skied after them.


Helsingin Sanomat, 2019.

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