Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Your Roots are Calling


Please watch this short film of Mari Boine talking about her Laestadian roots. If you aren't familiar with her music, this is one of her more famous songs, Kuula Kuule (hear, hear).
Hear hear girl, boy  
Your roots are calling for you.
This summer, my roots called and I answered, big time. It was life-changing. How exactly, remains to be seen.

I planned to stay three weeks, and ended up staying four. After two days in Stockholm, I visited Luleå, Boden, Övertorneå, and Pajala (where I toured the Laestadius museum and met the town's first female Lutheran priest), Jukkasjärvi (where one of my ancestors was a Sàmi shaman), and Kiruna (where my great-aunt, a nurse who never married and devoted her life to the poor, has a street named after her). In Tärendö, I had the joy of listening to a jazz pianist play in the very room my ancestors were baptized and married in. I stopped briefly in Gällivare for Indian food, and spent two magical days in Jokkmokk (with a midnight-sun drive to Nattavaara) before heading south again. After several days in Uppsala, I took the ferry to Helsinki, and did a grand tour of Mikkeli, Savonlinna, Kerimäki, Heinävesi, Seinajoki, Ylistaro, and Vaasa.

The only thing I'd change? More time.

I found both countries, and all of Sàpmi, breathtakingly beautiful. The weather, mid-July to mid-August, was perfect, with just enough rain to make rainbows. It seemed sometimes as if I were in a dream, where anything could happen. More than once I was taken by surprise, being in the right place at the right time to see something delightful. As if the ancestors were sprinkling fairy dust and opening doors wherever I went.

If your roots are calling for you, listen. If I can help you plan a trip (or better yet, be your tour guide) send me a message.

To be continued . . .