socially distanced – Socially distanced… well, only from people

Dalia Milián Bernal, Finland – WG3

I am Mexican. Only three years ago, I moved to Tampere, the second largest urban area and third most populous individual municipality in Finland, they show off in Wikipedia. Mid-March, as in many other European countries, Finland declared a state of emergency; if possible, we were all to avoid coming close to each other. The doors to restaurants, cafes, museums, libraries, universities, schools, offices had been closed. Shut. Thump.                   It felt like that moment when lights go out after lightning strikes, with a couple of flickers in between, and then it’s out for good. Your eyes try to adjust                and then, the emergency light kicks in. Light is back on, but you are in a different place as though you have travelled somewhere else with the light                     it was in that moment, that the exquisiteness of Tampere was revealed. First week: one, two, three, four, five, six, s e v e n                     there, another one, eight swans, I count with my finger standing by the shore of the lake accompanied by little Sophia, standing excited to my side. I was exited too. The following day, we count only four, and we find one of their white big feathers in the lake. I am sure it was meant for Sophia. We hung it up on her lamp. We visit the swans every day. We hear them sing, our ears full alert             they let us know when they come, when they go. Then, there were only two, and about two weeks ago, I heard the swan-couple sing to each other, and in an act of farewell, one flew away            .  It seemed like a divorce, said the friend standing next to me, witnessing the dramatic separation. The next day, Sophia and I looked for them in despair. Do you see them? I ask Sophia. No, she answers with watery eyes. It seems our friends are gone. 

Monday, I took a long walk around the lake. Mid-way, I detoured and went to the wooden bird-watching tower                 I rub my eyes, there they were. One lays on the nest, the other swims nearby. And so it is, that our dear friends will have baby swans                  in the second largest urban area and third most populous individual municipality in Finland.

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