I was sitting in the far corner of the milder of the two saunas at the former Olympic swimming stadium when I overheard a young father ask his son whether they should go to the lockers to his phone to see if someone had answered a message they had sent.
I started thinking about foraging.
Perhaps because it's the closest reference I have from my own experience to hunting with bait.
The day before I had come back from spending a week with the families of my sisters at our summer house in Northern Carelia. The morning of departure I had taken my nibling to collect blueberries.
I woke up to the fact that I might not have time to collect the critical amount of blueberries this summer to labour into jam that would bridge the winter, so on our last day we pledged to bring back at least half a bucket, conditions permitting. The blueberry-forecast had been boding well all June, with an abundance of flowers that I had tasted for the first time. They are in fact edible in themselves, and make for a great seasoning to porridge and yogurts.
We had half a bucket in time for lunch, and by the afternoon we had produced twenty or so small jars of blueberry jam.
In the forest my nibling was asking a lot of questions. She was curious about my favourite animal, and wondered about the many holes that formed in between the boulders on which we were balancing to navigate through the blueberry bushes. Past an imposing rocky ledge there was a slope gently descending down to the lake filled with blueberry bushes in between towering pine trees. I blinked and looked again and I saw black and dark blue spots everywhere. I had quickly developed the blueberry eyes.
Closing my eyes on the way back on the train I saw the same blue and black spots.
It's an instinct that the young father in the sauna was tapping into. He had sent a message, perhaps asking their partner to spontaneously join them for a swim, and now he was eagerly awaiting to go check the bait if something had been caught in it.
Will there be mushrooms? Will I eat fresh mushrooms tonight? Will we find enough mushrooms to conserve them to bridge the winter?