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3 ways to enjoy Ruska




September is almost over, yet it is the time to transition from summer to autumn. In Finland, the autumn season is so beautiful when the magic occurs in nature, and the leaves turn into elegant, flaming colors of red, purple, orange, yellow, and brown.


In the Finnish language, this stunning phenomenon that paints northern landscapes in deep and soft tones is called 'Ruska.' Indeed it is worth having outdoor activities at ruska-time such as hiking, biking, camping, berry picking, etc., and enjoying the fantastic views near lakes and in forests as well. There are also organized trips, walks, and excursions in which people can participate.


The focus of this article is to suggest looking at ruska in a more meaningful and symbolic way, too, to provide support and benefit for our life, inspired by the work of Deepak Chopra, MD, Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, founder of Chopra Global, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism.


Foreigners in Finland
Photo by Juha Roisko


Three Lessons to learn from Ruska; benefits of autumn


Transitioning from summer to autumn and settling into the season is not easy for everyone, especially most foreigners from countries with different climates. During this time of the year, fewer hours of sunlight or more cold air could affect our minds, body, and emotions. However, we can positively look at autumn and bring some beneficial experiences to our daily life. Each season has some gifts and wisdom for us. If we profoundly and meaningfully observe it, we could positively adapt to the change of season and align our lifestyle with those beautiful gifts. This new comprehension certainly can nourish and sustain us; therefore, we feel more balanced in the moment of change in the autumn season.


Falling leaves

The stunning colorful leaves of the trees fall on the ground at ruska time, and they start to dry, and this is all in harmony as the preparation for winter time. In the same way, as the leaves fall and start a new life in winter, we have the potential and power to let 'fall' non-pleasant spots of our life. We can examine our jobs and relationships to see if we love them and want to keep doing them for the rest of our life or let them 'fall' and prepare ourselves for change that we are genuinely passionate about and free ourselves from them. We can also look symbolically at this incredible natural phenomenon and let 'fall' anything we don't need anymore, such as any non-supportive habit which does not sustain us, and therefore start to create new healthy ones.


Appreciating the change of colors


Undoubtedly, various shades of the leaves are beautiful in autumn, and they can inspire 'colorful' and inventiveness in us. We can also assemble a lovely message from colors and bring the colors into our life, such as making art, decorations and patchwork with autumn leaves, perhaps together with kids. Autumn weather is great for outdoor adventures and collecting leaves with children is a great way to have fun and relax.

We can make a colorful, healthy meal with different veggies such as red and yellow peppers, orange pumpkins, etc. Or prepare a colorful, warm, healthy tea with various spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, fennel, etc., and enjoy drinking it while relaxing and releasing the tension/stress. Activities like these might be simple and naive, but certainly, they can bring many benefits and well-being to our life.


Contact with nature


While we go to see the fantastic ruska in nature, we can meditate, think of natural cycles and transformations, and reflect on them in our life. It can bring us many positive feelings about our strength and ability to make positive changes in life, and therefore being creative to develop and build a healthy and happy lifestyle. All this gives us an understanding of the importance of having closer contact with the natural world.


Finland has such a magnificent nature full of forests and lakes; it is wise to appreciate and use all that; to enjoy being in nature and stay connected to nature to strengthen ourselves.

Keeping contact with the natural world helps us create the foundation for a meaningful life and reduce overwhelming stress. It is the best way to support our well-being, which leads to the well-being of society and our communities.


Let's appreciate the transition into the autumn season and go to look for the best places to watch ruska.


There are Ruska rides and excursions across Finland, which one can participate in or have a nice walk around in the area where you live. You can go alone or invite some friends, especially if you know foreigners who are new members of Finnish society and might not be familiar with 'ruska' and not know about places to enjoy it at its best.


"Inside of us, there's a continual autumn. Our leaves fall and are blown out over the water."
— Rumi







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