Change is on its way.
Statisticians, especially when it comes to the weather – love to make comparisons. Last year Germany experienced the darkest winter in over 60 years. This winter we were lucky enough to see the sunniest winter in 30 years. While I couldn’t have personally made this comparison, I definitely noticed the abundance of blue skies over the last two months (I was too busy gallivanting around Australia to care about Germany’s weather in December). This meant the midday lunch break was spent outside rather than huddled in the work canteen and my bike has been disturbed from its winter sleep a little earlier. And with the sun came a very mild winter, especially after last years ordeal (now I’ve started with the comparisons). We saw some light snow in Munich as early as October, another little batch blessed us in November and late January saw a weeks worth – just enough to kick around and know it was winter.
While I enjoyed measuring the daily snowfall on my balcony last year, enjoyed the snow-ball fights and the snow angel made on a car in my street that lasted over a week – I definitely didn’t miss seeing the ugly aftermath: the brown sludgy streets. Ugh. So right now I’m thanking mother nature for the bearable winter – one where my feet actually overheated in my wool lined boots, the ‘heavy duty’ gloves stayed tucked away in the draw and my parsley (a non winter-hardy herb) continued to thrive outside (!!!!).
Alongside this mild weather (I’m talking 7 – 12 degrees) and spring’s timing has been pushed a little forward. While there is another 11 days until spring (der Frühling) officially arrives, the first signs have already started to appear.
In walking around the neighbourhood over the last few days I noticed the Crocuses (der Krokus) and Snow-bells (die Schneeglöckchen) beginning to make their mark on sleepy grounds.
The bare hedges are fighting with all their might, the strong ones showing us their new season buds.
And usually an April bloomer, the Cherry trees (die Kirschbäume) are revealing their sweet fruit.
Tulips are flooding market stands, the sun is setting after 6pm, the ice-cream eaters are out in full-force and the “warm” weather has dared the shop owners to open their outdoor trading earlier than planned.
A short trip to Düsseldorf over the weekend (where the weather over winter was even milder than in München) and the spring changes were even clearer. Driving passed my old haunt along the Rhine Terrasse and “Das Blaue Band” (The blue ribbon) of Crocuses had not missed a beat with this good weather. I was a little nostalgic.
The first sights of colour after blocks of browns and greys is exciting – sparking a sudden cheer in not only people, but the birds as well. Everyone knows that this only means summer is around the corner – where afternoons are spent in the Biergarten, the BBQ (Grill as it is called here) is always ready, enjoying every moment outdoors is a must and an excuse is never needed to enjoy an ice cream.
I appreciate the ability to notice these changes and knowing that everything has its time – day by day the world reveals something new. This is also a slight reminder for us all that nothing happens overnight – patience, perseverance and determination will get you to where you want to be!