April 3, 2007

"Spring is bursting out all over!"

After a winter of cold, miserable rain, Spring has officially come to this corner of the world. Two solid weeks of warm weather have coaxed the tulips and cherry blossoms into bloom and convinced the citizens of Würzburg to shed their puffy winter jackets for good – and with them, their brusque, business-like manner. Germans are supposedly the hardest-working people in all of Europe, but you wouldn’t know it to look around here. By 2 p.m., the Altstadt is packed with visitors to the recently opened farmers’ market. And there’s not a single patio seat to be had in any bar or restaurant, where the locals linger for hours over a cup of coffee or a gelato.

On the streets, the energy is palpable, and after such a quiet, dreary winter, it makes me want to dance about and burst into song, like the characters in some Broadway musical. My current fav is “Spring is Bursting Out All Over” from Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel,” although I sound like a strangled cat when trying to hit the high note on the “ooh-o-ver.” And watching the townspeople cross the old stone bridge over the River Main on their way to work every morning, just as they’ve done for hundreds of years, always makes me want to break into the opening number from Disney’s "Beauty and the Beast" (“There goes the baker with his tray like always, the same old bread and rolls to sell…”).

I’m trying to soak up as much of the beautiful weather as possible, since the next couple of years will probably be the coldest years of my life. Kevin has accepted a faculty position at the University of Alberta, and in January, we’ll take up residence in Edmonton, where Winter stretches into May and temperatures routinely drop below zero degrees – Fahrenheit! I’m sanguine about it. I figure if I’ve survived Boston’s wind and Würzburg’s rain, then cold is just one more element that can be conquered. And after all, weather is only ever temporary, and sometimes a long wait makes the Spring seem all the more beautiful.

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