What made you joyful today?

I was on my way to the office in the morning, passing through the tunnel that connects the subway station with the University, when I heard from the distance a busker play an instrument that sounded a lot like cello, but not quite.

"No, that can't be," I thought to myself, "I can't be that lucky!"

I walked on, and the sound became more distinct. Clearly there was no vibrato; could it be a viola da gamba - in Helsinki, late in the autumn, when most leaves are fallen, and most tourists have left the city already?

Finally I was close enough to see the young man playing the beautiful ancient-looking instrument.

It really was a gamba.

That tunnel is as ugly as they come, but the acoustics are surprisingly good.

When he played, it sounded as if we had been in a cathedral.

And he was remarkably talented.

I was in a hurry, so I couldn't stay for a long time, unfortunately. But it was like a peek into a different era, a different place without any hurry.

That feeling has accompanied me throughout this day.


The sunlight. Watering the plants. Brushing the dog. Petting the cats. Talking with a friend. Getting equipment I needed. Planning for the week. Planning for the future. Planning menus. Walking the dog. Talking a bath.


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