A week ago I was carving pumpkins with American ex-pats. Now I am scraping ice from the car window. At 2.30 pm the sun hangs low in the sky, warning us of its eventual descent into the dark of December, and then, at the solstice, the climax -- a day mostly made up of night.
Some people are intimidated by the nordic latitude. To them it brings to mind the work of Edvard Munch and Ingmar Bergman. But nighttime is the time when many people are their most creative, and in a season made up mostly of night, the imagination is allowed to run wild with the thoughts that come out to play.
In winter, too, we drink more. It's a regional condition. Alcohol, chocolate, kodujuust (cottage cheese) -- they all supposedly contain the magic ingredients needed to survive the vast darkness. You also feel more alive. The cold shock of air keeps one moving. The local people have a saying -- there's no such thing as the wrong kind of weather, only the wrong kind of clothes.
In Estonia, I might paraphrase. There's no such thing as the wrong latitude -- simply the wrong kind of attitude.
Last night we watched Tantsud Tähtedega, again. The Rootsi Suursaadik Dag Hartelius was voted off the show, but he seemed relieved at the end. Perhaps the cold weather slowed his desire to samba in public. We'll never know. Let this be a lesson to you, Russian Ambassador Nikolai Uspenski. Learn to dance and speak Estonian, and everyone will love you. Anyway, now my sympathies are moving towards Koit Toome, who reminds me of a guy on spring break. He's that consistently happy.
As for the title of this post, it means 'heavenly cold' or something of that nature. I was approached by some Estonian Jehovah's Witnesses last week who wanted to know about my relationship with God. They asked me what I thought about 'Jumal' [mis te mõtlete jumalast?], to which I replied, "Noh, ma mõtlen, et täna on jumala külm."