Thursday, 19 January 2012

Jyväskylä: walking and dreaming

An amazing Sunday morning: here comes the sun! The rays of sunlight make the world shine and sparkle, especially the pure, white snow which makes you think it is already late February or March. On a grey day you can't easily imagine how beautiful all the dried-up stalks of hay or other plants can actually be. Especially when wearing coats made of crystals.
The willows surrounding the fields of Kortesuo are also covered by lacy, delicate frost. The weather is absolutely perfect for a dreamy walk.
At the other end of the archery field of Viitaniemi, next to the garden allotments, the atmosphere is simply magical. When I look at the glittering, still snow, in my mind's eye I can already see myself enjoying 'hankiainen', the snow crust that is hard enough to walk on; in real life, the time for that comes towards the end of the winter in Finland.

I continue my walk following Harju ridge to the quiet university campus. There's hardly anyone about so I have the park almost to myself. Where next? The only open café in the area on a Sunday is at Alvar Aalto Museum so best to head there.
The cool, -10 °C weather has made my cheeks red so it's great to step into the museum and its cosy café. I was hoping to find something really delicious here today and it's my lucky day: the rhubarb pie both looks and tastes fantastic. Plus it gives me energy to keep on walking...  I'm not in a mood for the architecture exhibitions of Alvar Aalto Museum today, just for a bit of design, and pick up a free badge that advertises World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 before stepping outside. I turn back to Jyväskylä city centre on Seminaarinkatu street and pass the university.
Close to the corner of Kauppakatu and Vaasankatu streets I spot a new name on a window: Lounge. I take a peek inside throught the window - a small counter, an ancient cash register, chairs, small tables. Is somebody's dream coming true here in the shape of a new café? It looks promising, at least there are loads of coffee cups, an espresso machine and - a huge pack of ghastly yellow Lipton teabags. Oh please, please let them get there proper tea, something that tastes good! Anyway, a new café is always welcome to Jyväskylä.
I walk further towards the city centre and abandon thoughts about turning left or right. At Kirkkopuisto park (Church Park) a handwritten sign is stuck to the snow. Hyvä arki. How to translate that? Happy ordinary life might be the closest translation. As I get closer to the people I see more signs.
A friendly man gives me a handout and tells more about what is going on. Today, January 15, is the birthday of Martin Luther King and to celebrate that, Jyväskylän torikokous - Occupy Jyväskylä has organized an event called Sunday of Dreams. Everyone can share their dreams here - write your own on a piece of paper or cardboard. Someone has wished more warmth (lämpöä). I wonder if he or she was feeling cold...
Someone has written his or her dream on the dark rock sculpture by Kain Tapper: toivo (hope). A bunny rabbit is dreaming especially of more snow (lisää lunta) but not just of that: her second wish in smaller print is more friends (lisää kavereita).

Let's keep on dreaming. You never know, our dreams may come true some day.

Martin Luther King: I have a dream (text, mp3)
More photos of the event at Torikokous Jyväskylä - Occupy Jyväskylä pages

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