I have heard many Danes talk about how much they LOVE the spring.
And I guess that’s pretty normal, because what’s not to like about spring? I mean it would be kind of weird if someone was like, “Bah humbug, I just hate the awesome spring weather!”
That being said, I do think that the long, gray, dark winters really help the Danes to appreciate the beautiful spring weather.
Like so many things in life, if you have to wait for something, you may enjoy it even more when it finally arrives.
Then of course there’s the feeling of the stark contrast that allows us to fully appreciate the beauty of the current weather: I don’t know that I could SO appreciate the glorious spring without having just gone through the long winter.
In Denmark, one of the first signs of the changing seasons are the daffodils. As spring arrives, the bright yellow flowers begin popping up everywhere. In fact, they are so prolific that I began to wonder if they grow wild here. (I have been told that they must have been planted originally, but in time they do tend to spread.) The daffodils grace medians and roadsides, they fringe front yards and hedges. They even dot the countryside and appear sporadically about the forest floor.
Last year the daffodils arrived, most appropriately, right before Easter. I could not help considering the metaphor suggested by the yearly resurrection of these bright, cheerful flowers. In fact, the Danish word for daffodil is “påskelilje”–translated as “Easter Lily”. (This year the daffodils took a few extra weeks to spring up because of the long winter we’ve had).
Daffodils are perennials, returning year after year with more and more blooms. Their arrival in late winter or early spring reminds us that spring is coming–and that it will come again, every year.
And it’s true. Right now, the short dark days of winter are already just a memory. Currently, the sun is rising at about 5:30, and it’s staying light until after 9. In a few months it will still be light after 11 pm. As a Nordic country, Denmark experiences well both ends of the spectrum.
I was amused to learn that in Denmark, it isn’t only the humans that are happy about the change of seasons: Even the cows in Denmark get excited about spring’s arrival.
“You don’t want to miss the dancing cows,” we were told. “It’s very fun.”
“Dancing cows, you say?” Why, yes that does sound like something I’d be interested in seeing.
Evidently the “organic” cows in Denmark are shut up in their barns all winter long. On the appointed day, the cows are released to graze out in the fields. The cows justifiably get excited about finally being allowed outdoors, and in their excitement they do a little cow-jig as they exit the barns and run out to pasture. The farmers invite the townspeople to witness the fun.
Here’s a picture of one of the events:
Woops, that wasn’t the right one.
Or that one. Okay, this one is more like it:
And, in other spring-related news, (drum roll please), Mrs. Swansen has laid eggs! Can’t wait for the cute little swan babies to arrive!