The Novelty of Spring
The novelty of Spring refuses to wear off. The handful of truly glorious days we have had since Spring announced her arrival, have been enough to replenish stocks of good cheer and tide us through the inevitable cloudier, rainier days. A boot has not graced my foot in a fortnight. The Germans are slowly stopping staring at my ballet flats (and thus half-naked feet) but I won’t be cracking out the sparkly gold ones for a while, that was almost too much. Never have my feet been such a point of public interest. I asked SG the other day, why Germans stare so. And he said, ‘Us Germs have a set of norms that we like. And step out of that norm even a little bit and we stare.’ Das stimmt.
The big, beautiful street off which we reside, has burst into song, all the trees heavy with green. People sitting beneath them with their coffees and beers are no longer shivering beneath felt blankets, instead they are sitting jacket-less with their faces following the sun. Naked trees are a part of winter I have never liked. Glühwein I can do. Snow for a week or two, sure. But those black, bare sticks reaching toward a white sky, I have never been able to fall for. Most available patches of green in parks are dotted with chairs, blankets and grills. The national past time of raiding Edeka for all available types of meat and throwing them on a mini grill, is in full swing. And ice-cream. Ice-cream is back on the streets, clutched by every second Kieler.
But, perhaps most significantly, people are happy. They’re smiling at each other, there’s a sense of renewed energy in all public spaces. There are no hunched shoulders, no chins dipped into scarves, no hurrying down the street to get out of the cold. People stroll, shoulders open, faces open. There is no rush, no being driven into warmer spaces because the warmer spaces are all outside and every available moment is to be spent there. No one celebrates the sun more than those who don’t see it enough.
We went to Laboe last weekend. Last time I was there, in April last year, it looked like this. This time, it was blue and sunny and the Strandkörbe were full of people. The queue to the ice cream shop snaked out the door. We waited patiently for our two scoops and then took them to the pier.
No, the novelty of Spring will never wear off.