“One calm and cloudless evening, towards the end of April, Snufkin found himself far enough to the north to see still-unmelted patches of snow on the northern slopes. He had been walking all day through undisturbed landscapes, listening to the cries of the birds also on their way northwards, home from the South. […]
‘It’s the right evening for a tune’, Snufkin thought. A new tune, one part expectation, two parts spring sadness, and for the rest just the great delight of walking alone and liking it. He had kept this tune under his hat for several days, but hadn’t dared to take it out yet. It had to grow into a kind of happy conviction. Then he would simply have to put his lips to the mouthorgan, and all those notes would jump instantly into their places.” (Tales from Moominvalley- The Spring Tune)
As every year, since we have been living in Finland, spring took me again by surprise.
Because summers are wonderful here, with lots of green, and berries, and flowers and hundreds of birds and long long days, light growing and growing until Midsummer… and “it’s all downhill from here”. We are cutting out the light, just a little everyday, but we don’t let you feel it yet. No, there is still enough, kids are still playing outside long hours, you still have flowers and birds and sun.
Then one day you hear the wild geese flying over your house going South, and the rain starts, with cold wind and mud and dirt and tones of sand your kids bring home. No more light for you! No more sun! And it feels like it will never be spring again. You are doomed to darkness and cold.
But one morning you look out the window to find a thin white blanket covering the ground. The kids are over the moon, but they still have to wait weeks for enough snow to ski and sledge and skate. And if you are lucky, you will have a white Christmas. But don’t get too excited! Snow is not here to stay. It comes and goes, but mostly we give you icy roads, so watch your step! It’s dark when you get up, when you take the kids to school, and when you start your day of work, but take some light for your lunch break, because what do you know, when you pick up the kids from school it’s dark again.
Then it’s February, and one morning you hear a little bird chirping, and it is Hope! Spring will come again! But not too soon. Now you have light, but it’s still -15 in the morning. You have the skiing holiday in March. Snow starts melting away, there is dust and gravel everywhere on the street, but look, you can see the ground again, and “just give us some spring already!”. You can see little crocuses here and there but it’s 29th of April and it’s snowing. And you go on with your days and stop paying attention.
Then, two weeks later, you look around you and see a tree in bloom, and an explosion of vegetation, hundreds of little flowers and you have a lawn again.
It is here! It came by surprise, didn’t it?