What Summer Can Teach Us

Hyvää Juhannusta!

Happy Midsummer aka. Summer solstice!


It’s incredible to think that all life on this planet has evolved around the sun. Yet, it makes perfect sense! 


If you’re going to hedge your bets and sync up with anything, might as well be the biggest and closest star around. Inherent in the plan to sync up with the sun, comes the need to transition and adapt to the changing seasons.


Over the past 10+ years of living in Finland, I’ve found nature’s ability to adapt and flow with the cycles to be the most inspiring teacher there is in my own transition abroad. Whether for you it’s the plasticity required to adapt to another language or the fluidity that other cultures ask of us – or both at once – nature has lessons to help us navigate the terrain with more grace.


Summer Solstice as part of the annual cycle

In the context of summer solstice, this is the time of year when the sun (yang) energy is strongest, whereas the moon (yin) energy is at its lowest point. This dance between the energy of sun and moon, light and dark, and yang and yin is an ongoing annual affair. 


Juhannus/midsummer itself is the peak of light, after which the days begin to shorten again. But summer’s influence hangs around until the fall equinox in September.


After the winter, we prepared the garden and planted seeds in the spring. Summer is when we get to watch things come to fruition. It’s a time of abundant energy, play and rest, trust and patience that the harvest is on its way.


How is this relevant for us now in the summer of 2020?


Theme for Summer 2020

What’s coming up for me this year is the theme of illuminating the darkness. In this context, darkness isn’t all about monsters in the night, but rather represents the parts of our psyche we do not see or know – our blind spots. 


The sun brings light and life, but scorching hot as in the peak of summer, it can be merciless. Illuminating all that lies hidden throughout the year, clearly pointing out our blind spots, without allowing us to ignore them any longer.


While we may have the drive to push forward, summer is also a time for play and rest. The cycles offer us an opportunity to iterate and benefit from small pivots towards what we intend, instead of giant efforts. We do not need to do everything at once, and have ample opportunities to take breaks and reconnect with nature.


We do not need to strive, strain or rush things along. That’s not nature’s way. 


Inherent in nature’s design is learning for following iterations. Inevitably, all that is illuminated will trickle down into the following cycle. As we eventually wind down and lie low during fall and winter, the experiences we’ve gained will nudge us towards what to release, before preparing and planting again next cycle.


So what can this part of the cycle teach us about transitions in our lives? How can we use the summer months to support our bigger, overarching intentions?


On the collective & personal level

In the case of global events, we are seeing our blind spots on a massive scale in the hopes of transitioning towards a more equal, diverse, sustainable and inclusive way to live. One that honours the inborn worth, experience and contribution of every human equally. A world where we celebrate diversity for all the gifts it brings.


On a personal level, this is a time to look around and see what’s growing. Is it what we think we planted? We may have planned for pumpkins but instead end up with weeds. No amount of denying we planted what we wanted will make it so. What’s growing at a rapid pace will be an accurate reflection of the situation, despite whatever our intentions were.


Our task is simple though not always easy: show up and hold on, no matter how bumpy the journey may get. This, too, shall pass.


Growth and learning are inevitable, so might as well relax into it. Enjoy the process as much as possible!


What’s coming up for you as it relates with learning Finnish and growing deeper roots here? What’s being illuminated so far in these warmer months? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below (and I’ll share my own thoughts in there as well)


Wishing you a warm, joyful and peaceful summer,



P.S. There’s still space to join us for Simple Finnish Sentences – a 3-week exploration of Finnish from the start – starting next week. Click here for details: https://irinapravet.com/simple-finnish-sentences-registration/

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Hi! I’m Irina.

I’m a multibelonger to Finland, Canada and Romania, without ONE language or culture to call my own – I have several. My intention is to be present where I am and find inner peace and harmony where ever life takes me. I’m embracing the gems of the ongoing cultural and linguistic transition which is my life and hope to inspire others interested in doing the same. Click here to find out more!