April is coming to a close and thus has arrived the glorious Danish spring I have heard so much about since coming here in September. The darkness that has gripped us for several months has softened its clenched fist and slowly released us into a season of delicate flowers and bright kelly green grasses… we are free from the winter, if only for a few months.
I see how this seasonal progression is changing not only the dirt we stand on but also the cold soil of our hearts. From this chilled ground begins to grow many beautiful and warm things. We are smiling more, outside more, Friday train beer is no longer a bunch of cold people drinking out of green cans quietly with a looming lamentation of “why am I here?” But, rather, has become groups of wide eyed and hopeful neighbors sharing bottles from full boxes and cheerfully discussing the weekend’s events. The warming soil and has brought forth new life in Copenhagen… even I feel lighter and happier.
When I left California I remember thinking to myself, even saying to myself, that I would not miss living so much of my life outside in the constant sunlight. My skin resembling a tanned leather bag and my arms looking like hairy flour tortillas by summer's end. I felt like getting away from the sun would help me begin to appreciate it more instead of constantly hiding from it under layers of sunscreen. And, man, do I appreciate it’s warmth now! I feel like going out and getting a little red is a luxury these days rather than something to be frustrated about. I just can’t stop myself! I’m like a plant with legs, moving from one side of the street to the other simply to avoid the shade that is oddly several degrees colder than the light. I missed my old friend the sun.
It must be interesting growing up in a place where so much changes so dramatically from season to season. I know that seasonal change is something a lot of people experience around the world, but for the landscape of a place to physically change so little but change so much on an emotional level… I mean, I can feel the light flowing through us! I can feel the energy returning, I can feel us all getting just a little lighter and a little brighter everyday.
We are suddenly like children at the beach, toe-testing the water to see if we can jump right in or if we need to be cautious and ease ourselves into its depths. First we peel off the thermal under layers… they don't immediately go into the drawers or closets, they are tossed on the backs of chairs or folded neatly on top of the laundry bin. We don’t dare say a formal “goodbye” to them yet because there’s a good chance we are being teased and no one wants to be the fool caught in the winter’s cruel joke.
Then we tuck our down jackets away, our woolen socks find a place in a drawer and each day we become happier and more hopeful that we can begin to wear that sun dress we bought weeks ago on sale at H&M. We can dust off the ole picnic basket and start planning weekend parties in the parks again… our backpacks can be slowly condensed into tiny handbags because we no longer need to carry layers upon layers of clothing in preparation of the random snow flurry.
And then, one day we wake up, and there’s flowers…