If you’re honest about life in Finland, every season is a part of the cycle of Firewood. You are always either looking for a source of firewood, processing firewood, or using firewood to keep your home warm. From the outside, this may seem to be a very mundane and burdensome exercise, a toilsome task, an antiquated practice. But in reality, heating one’s home with wood is a beautiful cultural practice steeped in tradition, surrounded by stories, and filled with meaning and technique unique to each individual.
In reference to Firewood, lots of people like to recite the cute little saying – “He who cuts his own wood warms himself twice.” Anyone who has actually cut their own wood knows that the saying is wrong. It would be more accurate to say that cutting your own wood warms you at least five or six times, because you are going to break a sweat cutting it, splitting it, and moving it from place to place a few different times. It’s work. Good honest, meditative work that produces results. The wood splits, the pile grows, the stack becomes a cord, the wood flames up, the coals burn down, repeat.
It is these things, the everyday tasks, that make life in Finland, Minnesota so special. Living this way as our ancestors did brings happiness and fulfillment. And this is apparent in the people of Finland. Just come visit, and you will see. Happiness lives in Finland, around a crackling fire.