Being the darkest time of year, we received this short story inspired and illustrated by the Tornio skies. Story by Karan Baijal, a hosted AFS student from India.

A state of perpetual sunset.

As we walked over the frost laden path, seemingly embedded with a thousand tiny diamonds sparkling in the 2 pm light, I wondered why Boyu kept pulling even though the collar would only serve to hurt his neck.

In his case there was no greater cause to his fight that justified his struggle except unspent energy. Then again sometimes we as humans do this too. He’s a funny little mongrel that tiny black dog I thought. Everything he does is in the moment: like going nuts over the trail of a recent female dog instead of saving his energy for when they actually, unprobably, meet ;or killing a rat and bringing it home just for the sake of it -what did he do with it? Nothing. Today he started barking – mine being an analytical mind unbothered by the barking but by the unanswered question – at what ?

Tracing his gaze led me to the sky- to which this cute dumb dog had taken heinous offence, calling for his disapproval. Until then I was buried under my thoughts: how have I spent my time, am I close with the ones I want to be close with and is this version of myself better.  But Boyu’s call made me peek out of this shape shifting rubble and look at the sky.

And what a spectacular one it was. Each of my panaromic degrees boasted different hues equally brilliant :starting as a bright red in the west, diverging from the sun, rippling across the horizon poked by thousands of number sixes

The colors flowed seamlessly, transmitting across air and water to form this ‘soft'(?) spectrum ending into an eye pleasing pink of the east.

Wondering what could better accentuate the beauty, a large poofy cloud passed into this symphony of color – submerged under it’s power and drawn into its riptide only to emerge anew. No longer a somber grey thing but more like a wad of cotton candy dipped into a rainbow. It’s colors swirled and shifted, reflected by a frozen river hoping to capture the sight onto it’s cold lifeless surface for it’s bustling inhabitants underneath to witness.

What this land lacks in leaves, ruska and general color on ground it makes up for by the color in the sky.

I pointed it out to Rafael. He stopped and with him did the rustling pitter patter of the dogs’ steps. Here the sun doesn’t rise. It skirts across the horizon, kissing it softly but never committing whether to delve deep or rise high. It seems it’s all a continuous sunset.

It makes me want to be more like Boyu. Under my thoughts and calculations the sky isn’t visible. I limit myself to being two dimensional, missing out on so many things around I’d see if I were to run around aimlessly and be in the presence. Beauty isn’t limited to any dimension- sometimes it’s just the moment with no frills attached.

Text and photos by:
Karan Baijal, AFS Student in Finland 2018-2019