Today I am grateful mainly for my family. That means so many things, one of which is embracing my Finnish heritage and the long line of ancestors rooted in a culture that is embedded in my DNA. I used to cringe at the old-country sounding accents that gave us away. “What hicks!” I thought. I wanted to blend in with the rest of society and not be associated with a stubborn, unsophisticated bunch of hardheads. But I was missing the boat. The qualities I most appreciate in myself and others today are endurance and longsuffering—stick-to-it-iveness. These characteristics are important in this instant culture where everything and seemingly everyone demand an instant solution to every problem. The Finns have a word for this intestinal fortitude, or guts, you might say: sisu. The word is not directly translatable but it is the quality you see in a person facing adversity who bears up and doesn’t give in. It engenders a resourcefulness and practicality—characteristics for which Finns are famous. So, yes, I am grateful for my roots. I give thanks to the many souls who have gone before me and on this All Souls Day it seems fitting to do so.



About dmdubay

Since retiring from Northwest Airlines and moving to the Pacific Northwest, I have more time to devote to writing. My first novel, "Tales of Two Sisters" was published over a year ago. I have been writing poetry for a long time and am attempting to collate my poetry into a short book, with pictures. A sequel to "Tales of Two Sisters" should be getting closer to completion soon. Gardening and tending the vineyard take a lot of time in the summer. Even though I love the outdoors, these activities do cut down on my writing. So I appreciate that wintertime allows me time to write. Writing, for me, is what brings things into focus and helps me to make sense of the things that life brings. It is a gift to me and I hope that it will be to you also.
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