March and April have definitely brought signs of spring this year. I think this March was milder and less snowier than last year’s, something I’m feeling grateful for. We’re still in that in-between stage, where it sometimes snows, but it’s mild enough now that it never lasts for too long when it does. The daylight hours grow longer every day, and I find myself full of optimism when the sun comes out.
While I love winter, the springtime thaw always brings a specific kind of joy. Lately, my walks have been getting longer. I’m determined to do some more hiking this summer than last, and to explore some of the spots in my local area I have yet to hit up (there are plenty!). Even when the weather isn’t sunny, being outside at this time of year often makes me want to do cartwheels. The fresh air is such a boon after a long winter.
Today might be the nicest day of the year so far – April always seems to have a way of sparkling when the sun comes out, and today there’s not a cloud in the sky. It’s the kind of weather that seems to draw everyone outside, as we share a collective sigh of relief. It puts a goofy grin on my face, and I especially love walking by the water in this weather. You can smell the sea salt in the air, one of my favorite smells, and when you breathe in deep you can almost taste it. It makes it feel like summer (and taking dips in the fjord) is just around the corner. I keep bumping into friends when out on walks lately as well, which only adds to my joy. This cultural experience of the good weather drawing everyone outside is something Norway has in common with Seattle, and I know from friends and family back home that Seattle’s also been enjoying a stretch of extremely fine spring weather. I’m grateful.
The other thing I feel as the days grow warmer and longer is that I feel so immensely lucky to be here. To get to live here. My days are not only full of joy – work is often tricky these days (it’s no secret that a PhD is no picnic) and the news of late has often been devastating. But it makes the joy feel all the more important, so I will savor those moments when I am fortunate to have them.