11 March 2008

Weather Report II

LUND--I was going to write that of late every day has been the opposite of the other. There will be blue skies and sun, sometimes cold and clear and other times very nearly warm. The next day, then, will be grey and rainy. But yesterday was sunny, so warm that a vest under my jacket was too much insulation. I woke this morning to grey skies but now, having showered and dressed and stepped out with my coffee, I see that the sky is clearing and the temperature is again mild. Such a simple thing, the sun and light, but even a few days here and there with a break in the overcast make the spirits hopeful.

December it was reported that there were eight hours of sunshine. This in itself is horrible, like the Viking end time of Ragnorak had come. But it does nothing to describe the strange quality of the light at that time. Now, when it is overcast it is merely that, a dull and rainy day. But in that last month of the year the light seemed to touch nothing. It was like some grey fluid through which people moved and in which objects stood, a separate entity that never quite touched anything. Seeing it goes a long way, I think, towards explaining the dour and distant reputation of the Scandinavians and their other reputation for going a bit wild in sunny places. Let a Swede loose in Spain or Fiji and there is no telling what mischief they might get up to when suddenly released from the prison of the lightless winter. I am told it is far worse farther north where there are whole days of darkness. that there, for several months, the natives do nothing but glumly chew their herring and grunt into their brannvin.

But the winter days are ending. There are tiny flowers on the ground, small white ones, tiny yellow ones. Even the many ravens who cluster in some of the tall, old trees seem to croak a little hopefully. The branches are still bare but you can imagine them with leaves. Yesterday, walking to school, I suddenly smelled manure, perhaps blowing in, as such smells do, from some neaby farm. It was a shocking smell, not that it was so horrible, but in that I realized I had smelled little of anything for months.

It has only, down here in Skåne, snowed twice, at least so that anything stuck. Neither of those times lasted more than a day on the ground. So much, then, for the icy realms of the northlands. Suddenly, as I write this even, the last clouds have left the frame of my window and the sky is an achingly perfect blue. I can tell, looking with my camera eyes, that the light here in summer will be as beautiful as any I have seen.

Labels:

1 Comments:

Blogger jason said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:37 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home