Spring here came late. I arrived in January, and for some time I was convinced that it would never actually be warm.
The term “temperate climate” is a little misleading, if you ask me. It means the weather is never too cold, never too snowy and never too unbearable. Many people imagine Denmark buried under a blanket of snow, but this isn’t Sweden. Although the past few winters have apparently been rough, it’s normally not as bad as the annual dumping we get back home in Indiana.
But “temperate”also means it’s never too warm. When my parents planned their visit here, I was delighted to tell them it would be in the 50’s Fahrenheit. To them, this was not appealing. But to me, at the time, it was evidence of what I’d been searching for: some sign of spring.
I watched my newsfeed as my friends at home celebrated summer weather and the last week of school. I considered their sleevelessness and bikini-wearing and parties on the roof. Maybe, I thought, I’ll just have to wait for next year.
Slowly but surely, spring dug itself up here in Denmark. Almost like magic, mid-March brought tiny white flowers in the most surprising places and greener lawns in the neighborhood where I live. The days grew longer so quickly that I couldn’t understand why it was still light outside when we sat down to dinner.
Now it’s here in full bloom. The down parkas have been switched out for jean jackets, and even the bikers look happier as they unfailingly pass me on my slow American plod to class.
Of course, in a cruel twist of fate, the longer, warmer, sunnier days have arrived just in time for what I officially consider the home stretch of my semester abroad. Suddenly, spring weather, finals and an increasingly long bucket list have collided, and I can’t seem to find enough hours in the day.
Case in point: as I write, I’m working on almost no sleep because I spent the night writing a ten-page research paper. I spent the night writing a ten-page research paper because I spent the weekend biking on the Baltic island of Bornholm. Prioritizing is key.
So with less than three weeks left, I find myself wishing I could go back to those days of long darkness and snow. Every day outside, every picnic in the park, is a bittersweet reminder of the fact that I will never have this life again. There is little in life more confusing than the overwhelming desire to move forward while leaping back. And this spring in Denmark, that’s exactly the limbo I’m dancing.
Photo: at http://www.art.com/products/p14070558-sa-i2796470/blomqvist-anders-spring-flowers-in-bloom-in-tivoli-gardens-copenhagen-denmark.htm