Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Just three weeks ago, the sidewalks in this picture, showing the quay opposite mine, were still covered with snow and the two willows showed naked branches, hanging hapless along trunks darkened by windy winter slush. A week ago, the first signs of green appeared and now we can witness the delicate beauty of newly budded twigs. So dear is this green marvel to us Swedes, that we even have a wording for it, "skir grönska". In English you would call it something like "delicate green", but this does not have the same flavour to it, since you are missing the Northerners´ longing for spring, so nicely encapsuled in our expression.
It is intriguing how quickly the mood is adapting to this newly seen color. Winter seems far away and you almost have the feeling that it will never come back, in this pastel world of great expectations. No hardships anymore, the world feels anew fresh and inviting! This gets me to think about a trusted German adage "Wenn die Not am Höchsten scheint, Gott der Herr die Hand uns reicht". Believe it or not, this is the text of a famous aria in the opera "Hansel and Gretel"; that notwithstanding it expresses the mood of the day: just when you are completely worn down by a loong winter, salvation comes with the first budding of trees and flowers!
Am I the only one to feel uplifted by the delicate scenery? By no means! Have a look at the second picture. It shows two workers having climbed the large crane adjacent to our apartments, which has been left standing as a memento of the busy harbor that once occupied the quays. Their task was, I trust, to clean the crane of bird droppings accumulated over the years. Suddenly, they stopped all activity, getting entrapped by admiring the glory of our early spring. It took them quite a while to tear themselves away from the scenery and get back to the task they had come to carry out.