15 April 2011

Scandinavian Spring

Scandinavian spring is a shy little thing. Wandering through the woods these days I have been reminded how delicate and hesitant she is, how beautiful and fragrant.


After this very long and hard winter, which we spent hibernating under thick whiteness, we are all - humans, beasts and plants - so impatient to greet the warmth of the sun that we are not wasting any moment.

While wandering through the forest this morning I was thinking of this amazing epic novel called Independent People, written by the Icelandic Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness and published in 1934. Although the main theme of the novel is independence and what is worth giving up to achieve it, the narrative is saturated with divine, airy lyricism, turning this complex novel into a poem in prose.

Laxness's depiction of the spring night and her delicate character were sounding in my head all morning:

"It was after midnight, wearing slowly on for one o'clock. The spring night reigned over the valley like a young girl. Should she come or should she not come? She hesitated, stole forward on her toes - and it was day. The feathery mists over the marshes rose twining up the slopes and lay, like a veil, in innocent modesty about the mountain's waist."

How is spring going on in your part of the world?