10 Reasons to Eat Strawberries

It is a tiny miracle that strawberries grow this far north. It is even more of a miracle that Finnish strawberries are supremely delicious, perfectly succulent and sweet.

Finns celebrate this miracle by eating as many strawberries as they can while they are in season.

They also honor strawberries by incorporating them into desserts concocted only on the most festive occasions, such as the strawberry whipped cream cake our downstairs neighbor Maija makes on her birthday, her name day, and her husband’s name day,  which all take place in July and August, during and just after the peak of the all-too-brief Finnish strawberry season.

Maija’s strawberry whipped cream cake is to die for, by the way.

But strawberries are not just delicious, they are good for you, too, as I was reminded yesterday by this placard at the pop-up strawberry stand at my local grocery store.

ten reasons to eat strawberries

10 Reasons to Eat Strawberries

  • It improves the immune system.
  • It maintains eyesight.
  • It prevents cancer.
  • It firms up the skin.
  • It lowers cholesterol.
  • It makes the joints work better.
  • It lowers blood pressure.
  • It improves digestion.
  • It helps control weight.
  • It is positively yummy.

 

Photo and translation by Living in FIN

Eeva Kilpi, “Sweating as I Drink My Tea on a Hot Morning”

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Hikoillen juon teetäni hellepäivän aamuna
nauttien joka pisarasta.
Löyhähdän olemassaoloani tähän maisemaan.
Hyttyset ja paarmat rakastavat minua,
juovat mahansa killalleen,
hoippuroivat humalaisina verestäni.
Ja kun “Metsäkukkia” soi
tanssii sieluni harjulta harjulle,
pyörii kuusien päissä,
liitää pitkin lammen pintaa korennon selässä.
Mutta aina se hupsu palaa
tähän ruumiiseen.
Mikä kuolevaisuudessa viehättää?

::::::::::::::::

Sweating as I drink my tea on a hot morning,
savoring every drop.
My existence wafts into the landscape.
The mosquitoes and horseflies love me.
They drink their bellies to bursting.
Drunk on my blood, they stagger.
And when “Forest Flowers” plays,
my soul dances from one ridge to the next,
twirling on the tiptops of spruces,
soaring along a pond’s surface on a mayfly’s back.
But the silly one always returns
to this body.
What is mortality’s charm?

—Eeva Kilpi, Terveisin (WSOY, 1976), p. 18. Photo and translation by Living in FIN

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Olavi Virta’s 1952 recording of “Metsäkukkia” (“Forest Flowers”)

 

Hannu Salakka, Three Poems

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1

Seinällä kääntyy kellastunut lehti
toukokuusta kesäkuuhun.
Ilmassa on juuri lakanneen musiikin tuntu,
sävelten, jotka ovat jo vaienneet
tai syntyneet saamatta ääntä.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

The yellowed page on the wall turns
from May to June.
There’s a feeling in the air of music stopping,
of tunes going silent
or starting up again without making a sound.

2

Kolea ilta, vanhaa musiikkia.
Värit menevät valon myötä,
vain sävyt jäävät, hämärä,
jossa vihreää melkein mustasta melkein valkoiseen;
maailma vedenalainen,
rajapinta kuultavan taivasta vasten.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

A chilly evening, old music.
The colors fade in the light,
leaving only overtones, dusk,
in which green has gone from almost black to nearly white.
The world is submerged,
the interface translucent against the sky.

3

Yö on vain varjo,
unet ovat toisesta maailmasta
joka meillä vain yksin on.
Näyt syntyvät
painuakseen jälleen unohduksiin niinkuin ne,
jotka elivät täällä ennen.

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Night is a mere shadow,
dreams are from the other world,
which is the only one in our parts.
Visions are born, as it were,
so those who lived here before
descend once more into oblivion.

— Hannu Salakka, Kesä kesältä syvemmin (Otava, 1977), pp. 7–9

Interior view of the Lauritsala Church (Lappeenranta, South Karelia) and translations by Living in FIN