It’s spring-time in Norway. Nothing can compare to the feeling of spring in a country that has winter from November until April. Like jolly calves who have just been let outside, we too dance around like dorks. Well, not exactly dancing. We just dance in our heads. Norwegians are reserved people after all, and one does not usually do anything that one’s neighbor isn’t doing.
It’s like we have been in hibernation for six months, and now, when the sun comes out and warms our bodies, we crawl out of our dens. You can see Norwegians outside wherever you turn (in Norway I mean. You can’t usually see them in the rest of the world). It’s not hot by any means, but it feels hot compared to how it has been. So although the temperature only is around 10 degrees Celsius (which is 50 F) we put on our sweaters, take a blanket with us and eat our dinner outside. The nice weather is just too nice to waste.
We go for walks, we rake the lawn, we have visions of our future gardens, and we close our eyes and face the sun. Mmm, the warmth it produces is better than ice-cream.
I think that people who have not lived through a long, dark winter cannot appreciate how nice spring is. They may find it lovely and smile, but they won’t long to be outside like we do, they won’t fall in love left and right like we do, they won’t get all excited when they found the first flower of the year like we do. But we, having lived through the darkness and the cold, see the beauty of spring with all new eyes. It makes us smile. It makes us talk about it at the store. “Now spring is here,” we say to the strangers in line at the grocery store. It’s like the world is smiling at us. Do you have any idea how nice it is to go outside without three layers of clothes on?
It’s like life. Without the harsh realities of life’s winters we cannot appreciate spring as much.
It’s what I am trying to teach my kids when they have a hard time; when they don’t get the best grades, when they don’t get picked for the A team, when they don’t get as much money as their peers, when they don’t seem like perfect people that always get the best of everything. I tell them that this hurts right now, but later in life they will be glad for the experience. It will teach them endurance and it will make them appreciate spring more when it comes.
The same is true for me.