When I was in Crystal Lake, Illinois in July for the picnic-style book launch of The Business of Being, my friend, Lisa Krupp, gave me this pin:
A bit of online research reveals:
“To the Finnish people, SISU has a mystical, almost magical meaning. SISU is a unique Finnish concept. It is a Finnish term that can be roughly translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity. SISU is not momentary courage, but the ability to sustain that courage. It is a word that cannot be fully translated.”
One afternoon while walking along, minding our own business, something registered in my peripheral vision. Willa and I stopped. Looked. And what do you suppose we saw?
Much to our surprise and delight, hidden in a hedgerow we saw a sun-dappled faerie village. And while we haven’t spotted any of its occupants—yet!—I’m confident that with a little patience, one of these up-and-coming dusks we will.
This village brought to mind the gnomes my mom used to have. No more than ring-finger height—including their pointy red hats—you’d turn around in the kitchen and find a rosy-cheeked fellow peeking at you from behind a cookbook; or look over your shoulder in the living room and see the beard and belly of one who hasn’t fully pulled himself behind a collectable on mom’s display hutch.