Sitting on a deck by a still lake, you can hear the calm water dancing beneath you. Sun has just set and the sky is still red, giving the lake a warm appearance. You can see some black shapes of birds flying around and hear their occasional croaks getting delivered over the water. Evening swim was relaxing but it is starting to feel a bit cold outside, it is time to leave. While walking up the wooden planks back to the warm cottage the wind is picking up and giving life to birch leaves all around. You get inside and pick up a piece of Donald Duck that aired 25 years ago.
Finland is a country of lakes and cottages. It is a special atmosphere that you can feel at a cottage. It differs between people and their own cultures. For some it is the feeling of connection they get when drinking and swimming through the night while getting stuffed with grilled sausages. Others get their doze of Finnishness by finding the coziest corner with a pile of old-ass comics while listening to the wind through thin windows.
It is not that uncommon to warm up the cottage during winter time either. In the winter you can take a swim in an ice cold lake, build an ice skating area or ski around. We used to have a tradition to make the best sledging hills to slide down in big groups and play ice hockey on a pond.
Cottages are a way to get away from the urban life and relax. That is why they often are close by the lakes or at least forests. Wherever you go in Finland, you can usually see nature around you. Finland without vast forests and lakes would not be Finland. In my opinion Finnishness is strongly connected to our surroundings, which just happen to be something more than grey cubes.