Somewhere in Lapland deep in the Taga forest…
All the beautiful and magical things that I brought with me from Lapland in Finland I didn’t have to stuff into my suitcase or store on my selves. What is it though that I took back home with me?
The miracle of Aurora Borealis, the warm hug of the husky dogs, the open heart of Lappish people, the spirit of the northern deer, and a whole lot of snow!!
But most of all the silence, the deep silence of the Taga forest that I will always carry with me wherever I am and that will always make me come back to Lapland. Have you ever heard the sound of silence? If you are silent enough inside of you, attendant and conscious enough you can hear silence, it’s a special sound. It is a miracle purifying your soul.
Our adventure begun in Helsinki, where we stayed for one night before departing the next day for Ivalo airport in Finland. There we got the chance to stroll around the city and the Christmas market.
The next morning nobody wanted to sleep longer, everybody was thrilled for the day ahead of us. We arrived at Ivalo airport around noon where our taxi driver, Eiiki was waiting to transfer us 50 km deep in the Taga Forest. Ivalo is 290km above Rovaniemi and the Arctic Circle! And our small lodge was located deep in the wilderness in Inari area.
As we were driving deeper into the Taga Forest, the snow was becoming thicker and the only thing you could see was an endless white forest of tall fir trees. Our taxi left the main road and drove into the smaller roads of the forest giving us the chance to witness the wilderness and the reindeer in a very close distance.
After a drive of around 40-50 minutes, we arrived to our little lodge in the middle of the forest.
It was already quite dark outside and the lodge was all dressed up in lights. Luckily it was not that cold for December, only -3 degrees; usually this time of the year the temperatures in Lapland are far lower. We stood outside for a while, silent and happy, breathing the fresh air of the forest. The only existing civilization in the middle of the forest was the lodge. Soon our hostess Lotta, a Sami woman dressed in a traditional Sami dress welcomed us in Lapland and in Wilderness Lodge Muotka.
One day we decided to take our snow boots and lose ourselves in the forest and the snow, which was thick and over our knees. We walked silently and at some point we saw a herd of reindeer passing by at a very close distance from us. We all looked at each other in silence deciding that we should follow them. They were letting us close to them but they were always keeping the exact same distance. If you tried to come closer they would go further away. At that moment I felt so connected to these animals that I really wanted to communicate in the same way. The rest of the team continued following the herd and 3 of us were left behind standing still. I started singing the universal sound OM, often used in meditation and yoga and 3 reindeer stopped at a close distance in front of us while the rest of the herd continued. One of the three was looking straight at me. I continued singing the OM mantra over and over again and the reindeer was standing still looking into my eyes. We started communicating. The experience was strong, I could feel the spirit and the strength of this animal, which can stand all this snow and cold, but also at the same time its calmness and gentleness. I did not want to leave this moment and the reindeer was staying there with us. Its friends, the other 2 deer went further, but she was standing there connecting with me through this universal sound. Every time I stopped singing the OM sound, she was ready to depart, but when I started again she was looking again at me and staying there, like we were both hypnotised. I do not know how much time passed by, but I started feeling tired and a bit cold, so I had to stop and say goodbye. The other 2 of the team were also impressed but all 3 of us went in inner silence to join the rest of our team.
One of the most fun and exciting activities was the husky safari. We arrived at the husky safari farm and after having a small introduction on how to navigate the sleigh we began our adventure. Around 4 hours on the road full of laughter and happiness! It was magnificent to see the excitement of these dogs for snow and for pulling the sleigh, and also the love that they were willing to give and receive. It was impressive to realize that in the farm live around 150 huskies and the people working there know every single one by their name. But the real magic was witnessing all this immense beauty of the forest again while standing on the sleigh. All the way that we were driving our sleigh and passing through the dense forest, dressed in white, I could not help but think how blessed I was to be here, now, seeing with my eyes what cannot be expressed with words.
The next days passed by, full of activities and fun. Every morning we were enjoying energetic practises in nature to wake up, warm our bodies and connect to each other. We drove at night with the snowmobiles through the forest in hope of catching sight of Aurora Borealis. One night we camped for some hours in a small wooden hut deep in the forest. We arrived there in an enormous sleigh pulled by a huge snowmobile. Inside the hut we enjoyed hot drinks and snacks, sang songs and meditated with the sound of the shamanic drum watching the burning fire.
For one night we had the chance to sleep in an Aurora Bubble, which is a room with a canopy outside the lodge, where you can sleep looking at the starry sky and get the opportunity to witness the Northern lights. The people of the lodge gave us also a mobile phone which would ring in case the Aurora Borealis would appear while sleeping in order not to miss it!
We also enjoyed an astrological map analysis evening. The timing was perfect just right before the New Year for us to set our intentions for 2015! Tarot card reading and table game night were also part of our trip.
Lapland indeed is a fairy-tale destination where time stops and everything is connected to nature. Part of this timelessness is due to the vast forests and vibrant nature and part of it due to the enduring night in winter time that made us feel that the time was passing by more slowly and our days were longer and fuller in essence.
And the proof of it all is the Lappish people, who embrace you with their friendliness, calmness and happiness!
Until the next time……Be well…………enjoy life!
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