Finnish Sauna Tribute


Today marks one of those landmark days that will always be special to me, wherever I am in the world.  It is my father Wally’s Birthday, born on Pearl Harbor Day.  He would have been 67 today. It feels like a bit of a time warp that it has only been two and a half years since his passing.  Clearly gone too soon.

His Birthdays were always fabulous.  He always threw himself a grand party with friends, a great excuse to celebrate between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  He would have loved that it is a Saturday Birthday this year, all the better to party it up and play some music with friends.

Wally’s presence came to mind over the course of the day, and the week leading up.  At the end of the day I found myself reminiscing of my first Finnish sauna as I relaxed in the authentic sauna at the rooftop of my Manila hotel.  I suddenly became aware of a guitar that began to play, knowing there was some Wally magic going on.

I was transported twenty years back to a lakeside sauna with about twenty of my fellow exchange students.  As 16-18 year olds in a new country for the first time we were both excited and nervous. Along with our two Finnish hosts there were two of us, of course myself included, who were brave enough to start out naked.  By the end the rest had shed their inhibitions and clothes along with.

When I exited the sauna, indeed there was a lone guitarist on the roof.  I dipped my feet in the pool to cool myself off, letting the music wash over me.  Eventually I slipped in to the cool water to submerge myself completely in the moment.

Wally loved living vicariously through my travels and would have definitely been the one doing a naked cannon ball off the dock!

We miss you Wally!


One thought on “Finnish Sauna Tribute

  1. Darcy @DarcysUtopia

    So true! Funny how I had a similar Finnish adventure with timid Americans in college too…jumping off that dock was one of the best feelings ever. Feeling so envigorated and alive.

    Wally’s passing reminds me to be myself and live to the fullest now, and to be a true friend to everyone I meet.

    Love you Sis!

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