After the darkest winter and coldest spring on record, plus snow for Easter, I had a real German moment. On Monday, the sun was shining and it was a whopping 6°C (43°F – that’s not a lot where I come from). So what did Toby and I do? Take the convertible out for a spin, naturally!
Top down, beanies, down jackets. Ah, it’s really starting to feel like spring around here… Not.
It’s been a hard week of weather to deal with in Düsseldorf. Spring, which the budding trees, the chirping birds, and I have been patiently (why lie?) waiting for, is taking her sweet time. First it looked like there was hope – the sun was shining, and I was giddy at the sight of my own shadow. And with good reason. It was “the darkest [German] winter of all time.” (See? There’s more to my weather drama than the fact that I’m an Arizona girl through and through!)
Then we had another bout of snow, or Schnee.
I appeased myself with trips to the coffee house and with cozy pots of tea at home.
Then we had snow and sun. Oh, what a glorious combination – light and color in the world again!
The crocuses and those who dared sit outside at the coffee house despite the freezing temperatures weren’t showing any weakness.
Then the snow was gone, and Toby and I took advantage of a sunny day with a long walk along the Rhine.
Yesterday it was so nice that I actually rode my bike to work without a beanie, my hair blowing in the wind (something I haven’t felt in longer than I care to remember). This is in stark contrast to my winter riding gear, which I’ve taken to calling the Reverse Mask of Zorro.
Too bad we’re back to a lovely combination of rain and snow again today. Somebody stop the madness!
Today I saw my shadow again, literally. The sun was shining after what seems like months and months of nothing but shades of gray. I’m taking it as a sign to get out of my winter slumber and to finally give myself the chance to jump over my own figurative shadow again. I’ve been far too complacent for far too long. It’s time to do the things I love again, like writing, organizing my pictures, planning trips, and nurturing relationships with family and friends. It’s also time to face the things that are occupying my mind head on, like that pesky to-do list, my career path, my own fitness and well-being, and being the best wife and partner in crime possible.
Coincidentally, I also just had another birthday. The timing is good – spring energy plus a symbolic new beginning. It’s time to make this the year of greatness!
Jumping over my own shadow and landing solidly on two feet, with a hip shake :)
Remember the important things, and the rest will follow.
Time travel with good friends and good wine – 1973 to 2011
People are always asking how a girl from Arizona ends up working at a fitness club in Düsseldorf, and why I speak such good German, albeit with a funny accent. So I tell them about my Austrian parents who fell in love with Arizona and decided to have a family there. About growing up with German workbooks, Austrian Christmas trees, and Wienerschnitzel. About the Phoenix Oktoberfest where I met Toby, my German husband. About our decision to move to Germany together, which gave me the opportunity to make the career leap that might otherwise have been left for ‘some day.’
The reaction is almost always the same – wow, you’re mutig. Translated that means something like brave, courageous, ballsy.
Funny. Most days those aren’t the words I would use to describe myself. Maybe confused, worried, overwhelmed. And sometimes lonely, lazy, useless. There’s always a little crazy sprinkled in. Some days I even feel hopeful, curious, inspired.
But ballsy? Me?