It rained for two days from Thursday night till Saturday noon. The rain clouds hung low and it reminded me of this joke about the region where I live.

An architect was writing a book about Finnish churches and was traveling around the country to visit them all. Soon he noticed that in every church there was a golden phone half hidden in some corned of the church hall with a note next to it reading ‘100€ per minute.’ He wondered about them and especially about the charge, but it took some time before he mustered the nerve to ask what the phone was for.

‘It’s a direct line to God,’ answered the priest in a church in Tampere, ‘You just pick up the phone and God will be at the other end of it.’ The architect thought that not many sinners had the money to pay for such call, but did not comment on the matter.

Where ever in Finland he went, there was the golden phone in every church, and in every church the charge was 100€ per minute. In time his travels took him to Pohjanmaa where land is flat and the sky is vast. In the first church he visited, just as expected, he found a golden phone but here the note read ‘5€ per minute.’ The architect turned to the local priest who was acting as his guide and asked: ‘I know that this phone is a direct line to God and that there is one in every church in Finland, but how come you are charging only 5€ per minute when everyone else is charging 100€?’

‘Oh,’ said the priest, ‘We are so close to Heaven here that it’s a local call.’

Two thirds of the view here is sky. On a sunny day the sky dome swells far above the land, but when the wind blows the clouds fast and down over the landscape the sky hangs low like a ceiling. It definitely is a local call then.

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