(Vasa, Finland. August 2011)
I walk the rooms of the flat in the depth of night when a soft breeze spreads the curtains over the kitchen table and around the edge of the cheap blue couches. But it is not so deep. The light is pink and soft. There is a midnight plant that smells like a clean laundry detergent and its thick in the air. Suopursu. I didnt think it was this far south.
The quality of light lent by the midnight sun is sublime.
The last hour of the day finds small children and their lolling parents strolling the edge of the gulf. Terrace bars are partially filled but the alcohol laughter, for Finns, is subtle. A beautiful blond girl forces it, she thinks she is funny. The others laugh just because she is pretty. The forest removes the power and spreads it thin. She goes quiet.
I’d really rather not go home. North to Berlevag via Inari would be preferable. Then back to Bodo on the Hurtigruten. Then the Faros….Iceland…..
The gulf water is still – so still that near mirror images of the boats, the sky and the ducks and grebes rest on the water. Fishing craft bob in the near islands with men throwing nets and the cat-tails bend with silly sparrows.
An old man in his underwear peers at himself in the water near the R/S Faros.