On Sunday last week the temperature hit two digits and the sun blared down – at least during the middle hours of the day. Spring has sprung in Copenhagen and it is beautiful, if still cold enough for the wind to make my ears ache during the morning walk.
All through winter, people brighten up the darkness, dampness and cold with candle light and cut flowers. To fill this need an abundance of flower stalls can be found in the streets of Copenhagen. Every supermarket has a section that sells cut flowers. And in the streetscape florist shops sell flowers and potted plants. In one local florist, we saw in pots many plants that grow in our backyard in Brisbane. There was even a small and crowded pot sporting several black bean seeds sprouting. I guess the black bean tree will never become as large in a pot as they do next to South Pine River at the Bunya crossing.
Here in Copenhagen spring has teased out the blooms. Apart from snowdrops and winter aconite, the crocuses and daffodils are peeking up and colouring our days. The onion lawn in front of Rosenborg Slot in Kongens Have is starting to show the intricate pattern that will fill out as more crocuses emerge. In other parks, like Frederiksberg Have and the Botanical Gardens, onion lawns are also emerging, but much more sporadically and organically.
In addition to spring flowers, the sun also tease out groups of sun-starved Copenhagen residents. Every spot of sun that reaches the ground is filled with people congregating with cups of (bad) takeaway coffee, icecream or beer, sitting, chatting, playing board games, playing music. It is as if the sun has a magnetic effect that draws life and good times out into the streets and parks of Copenhagen. It feels like party time and chases away the remnants of depression from seasonal affective disorder.
People take off the scarves, duffel coats and jumpers, and in a moment of temporary insanity some even don shorts and t-shirts. The ambient temperature is still less than 10 degrees Celsius and as soon as the shade catches up, the cold snaps back.
Of course, this behaviour is completely melanoma-ignorant, says the Queenslander in me. But feeling the sun’s warm rays on the skin when for so long the sun has been weak or hidden behind dark clouds, drizzle or sleet is makes me unreasonably happy and I can almost feel the endorphins do a little happy dance when sunlight hits the iris. I cannot imagine this having anything but restorative effects.
This dramatic changing of the seasons is magic – one of the things I have missed in Queensland.