I Got It: Spring Fever


I think that’s the name of it, of this affliction I have. All I want is to be outdoors all day long, morning ‘til dusk, and nothing else – I tell you, nothing – will suffice. Riding the same rattling cobalt bicycle which kept me company on the crisp days of autumn and glacial winter streets, my heart feels fit to bursting – so intoxicated am I with the unending blue skies, warm breeze and the burgeoning lakes of young flowers sprouting up wherever chance allows. In my dreams I carry armfuls of perplexing floral combinations – deep hued zinnias, foxgloves, chrysanthemums, goldenrod, ranunculus and roses…pink and yellow and peach coloured roses, freshly picked, dripping with late summer rain, that oh-so-delicate fragrance enveloping…

But I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s spring, not summer – not yet. And I’m doing my best to appreciate every single moment. I don’t want to wish spring away. It’s not long now. Four words which follow me around these days, like a constant feline companion wrapping itself around my ankles. It’s not long now. Teachers and students and friends; all of them reminding me of the ticking clock, the emptying hourglass, as my time beside the Danube dwindles. And so I’m in love with spring, though it’s not as if I had a choice in the matter….how can these long, light-filled days of possibility, fresh air, possibly compare to any that went before?

The past few weeks have been warm as anything – Eis eating abounds and we delight in taking our regular Kaffee und Kuchen outside. It would be heresy to do anything but. Today, though, it is windier and cold enough for a light coat, fresh leaves are leaping through the air and the sky tonight will be cold, clear, icy black with abundant stars. I’m hoping so. It’s the sort of modest March day where the sun shines warm and the wind blows cold; where it’s summer in the light and winter in the shade.*

There are flowers – many of them. Flowers native to Europe which even Piers, the unrivalled authority on all things botanical, cannot name….deep pink dancing little things, twisting around wire fences, carpeting the banks of the river. Crocuses and snowdrops and all those other beauties essential to this blessed season. Bicycle rides in the moonlight, the thankful weight of warm clean laundry, evening suppers on the terrace and cotton bags dimpling under the weight of farmer’s market apples and courgettes. Yesterday we played badminton at the very tip of the island next to mine with the audaciously colourful racquets Piers discovered at the Saturday morning flea market, the soft and distant notes of a pipe floating towards us. And there has been football in alleyways, sitting conversing with new friends in ivy-drenched courtyards, lessons taken outside to the Villapark when the sun taunting us through the classroom windows becomes too much to bear. Evenings I’m so delirious with contentment I can barely ride my bicycle in a straight line.

It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!  ~Mark Twain

My thoughts exactly.

*I have Dickens to thank for that line.