Lobby at Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki

The Simple, Lovely Things

It’s the simple things that create excitement at the moment. As the season is shifting into spring, you’re bound to think of the lovely things to come. Simple things like longer sunnier days and blooming nature with the abundance of colors and shapes and scents. You also think of the weather getting warmer which enables wearing lighter clothes.

It’s the simple things. As spring arrives, summer then is not too far away and you will think of indulging in delicious summer foods and drinks while possibly witnessing beautiful afternoon skies or colorful sunsets. Perhaps, by then, we will also be able to indulge in the company of our friends? And not just one but maybe even two? As spring arrives and shifts into summer, maybe we will feel a bit safer to go out with a friend or two and walk around, talking—taking in the lovely late spring and summer airs without thinking how many people are near and disregard keeping a good distance.

The simple things. Like being able to go to your favorite café for that lovely cup of cappuccino or that delicious smoothie that they just know how to make perfectly. Being able to go without thinking “that corner is too crowded” or “I hope no one is going to sneeze or cough near me”. Of course, we are all only human… who should know how to cover our mouths. Perhaps, by then, we are collectively safer and can walk into a public space without being intensely aware of our hands and what the skin touches. How lovely, right? Exciting things indeed.

As these weeks turn into months that near the summer, excitement is also increased by cultural events that keep the arts alive, that make the word “culture” actually mean what it is supposed to signify. We probably get the chance to cultivate ourselves more physically, by visiting museums and galleries, for instance. The simple, lovely things that have always created little excitement—but seem to do it more at the moment because of the chance of physically witnessing and experiencing these things again. Perhaps, we will be able to indulge in cultural entertainment without having to think of any risks. Without having to think if the air, literally, around us is safe.

It’s the simple things that create excitement at the moment. The blooming nature, the warmer weather, the beautiful sceneries. Deliciously fresh summer foods that make you feel glad that you’re alive during summer. The possibility of being out and about with a friend without worrying about the air or surfaces. The prospect of engaging in culture more tangibly without worrying about putting yourself as well as others at risk.

Certainly the situation cannot become much more dire as we are approaching spring? There are, after all, people who do not take it entirely seriously to think so. Just check the comment sections of reports about the situation from any news agency. (These are usually the loudmouth “experts” of the internet.) So maybe things will be okay if we like to look at our situation lightly and happen to follow up on reports how vacationers just cannot stay put. It should all be okay anyway, given that a cure is at hand which is what these people are also probably thinking about. Nevertheless, above all else, we will look forward to the simple, lovely things that might create more excitement than before – hoping that they can be enjoyed despite everything. The shifting seasons, the approaching warmth and possible physical reunions with friends where you can enjoy a cup of coffee without too much worry.