Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Spring Has Sprung

Last week, something incredible happened.

The sun shone for five days straight. The weather was warm. Not just warmish, legitimately pleasant. Like in the 70s (Fahrenheit, of course). 

Shorts were worn by those many hardier than I. For my part, I dared to expose my ankles to the sun. Scandalously, of course.

Spring sprang. There may have been frolicking in a field of daffodils and jonquils. In my imagination, there were lambs gamboling to birdsong and lines of ducklings followed their mothers across idyllic country roads, although perhaps I was carrying it a bit too far. While I miss the tulips and tiger lilies which hearken spring in Minnesota, these flowers did a lot to lend a bit of color to an often drab landscape. 

Heathcliff knows how to moor-stried
Here’s the thing, though – it’s been so cold and grey here for so long that those five days were revitalizing to the soul. While the winter was not bitterly cold, it was what one friend of mine described as “unweather” – invariably grey, misty, chilly and grim. Depressing weather that made me want to stride across a moor in a cloak, reciting dramatic love poetry to a tempestuous lover. Most of us were suffering to greater or lesser degree from the winter blahs. Apathy was reaching epidemic proportions. Apathy and cabin fever. My friends and I constructed elaborate fantasies about Turkish baths, Jamaica and mojitos on the beach.

But for those five days, the air of weariness dissolved completely. We were still tired, but life seemed somehow more bearable and assignments less stressful, even though a lot more time was spent playing out in the sun than in working on British Studies papers. The fact that daylight savings time has begun only adds to the holidayesque atmosphere – the days feel longer and brighter, again, very welcome.

The gorgeous weather, however, has disappeared and it is chilly once again. But the heady sense which accompanied the sun and warmth has stayed. There is a sense of anticipation in the air. There are six class days left. And while I have a massive amount of homework due to a misguided choice to take two German independent studies, most everyone is wrapping up their last assignments. What more, we leave this place which has become our home two weeks from tomorrow. Four months felt like an eternity back in January. We had all the time in the world to explore Harlaxton, England, the UK, Europe.

Now, though, it’s crunch time. Two weeks and we’re done. Many are going to Italy. Others of us are traveling on our own. France, Greece, London, anyplace we want to go, really. And others are going home straightaway.  But no matter what, this sense of spring, of beginnings and endings, is with us all. Soon we’ll be back in the good old US of A, different people than who left four incredibly long and unbelievably short months ago. 

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