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Winter Turns to Spring

Published : Saturday, 17 April, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 2511
Shahreen Khan Taan

In a world where you can love anything, why not love nature?

Winter Turns to Spring

Winter Turns to Spring

This is it. This is all I have ever wanted, to live a decent life away from locality. To watch aurora borealis from the mountain top. To ceaselessly stare at a starlit sky, to skate over the frozen lake in winter and swim in it in summer.
It's December. The cold is unbearable. The windbreaker over layers of sweaters isn't helping. My lips are frozen. I can barely speak. Where am I? I'm in a small village in northern Sweden with only six families. Why am I here? Because I had a dream that I always held fast to. A dream of living alone with nature and letting my imagination run wild and thus, pour my heart out into writing.
Upon graduation, I got myself an online job, as planned. Then I moved to this village in Sweden, far far away from my home country.
People who do not live here find it hard to believe that the vast sheet of crystal, in other words, the frozen lake, sings. When I lie sideways on the lake and press my ear on the ice, I can hear it sing. Well, there surely is a scientific explanation. All the way down, the ice expands and contracts when the temperature changes and this creates the interesting noise, which I like to call "singing". Frost crystals have formed on the window panes. I wonder if it would inspire Tagore to write a poem. The man has written one for everything.
We have run out of woods. It is time for me and my sister to get some from the nearby forest. "Make sure to get the dry ones" my sister tells me. She never forgets to remind me that the dry ones burn best.
We stack the woods behind our pick-up truck and head back home. The snow must be a foot deep, for it is becoming increasingly harder to drive. I do a little shovelling near the tyres before starting to drive again.
The Nordic winter is exactly like the one we see in Narnia. The only colour visible is white, the colour of the snow, and wherever we look, it is there.
My sister and I, with the help of some neighbours, pile up the woods in a crisscross pattern before lighting it. Slowly, the atmosphere becomes warm and we finally take off our windbreaker. The smell of burning woods and the cosiness remind me that Christmas is on its way.
I will not say that winter had passed in a flash. Each day was incessantly long. And finally, it is spring- the season we all impatiently wait for. Nordic spring is famous for its lush greenery, longer days and crisp air. However, I particularly love this season because of the berries. Blueberries and raspberries grow in copious amount in Spring. Even picking these berries from the garden is therapeutic. My sister and I make juices out of these that we refrigerate and drink throughout the year.
Another reason for which I love Nordic spring so much is the frequent aurora-like displays in the night sky. Every night on weekend, we spend hours sitting on the hilltop, watching the magnificent northern lights.
In spring, the forest beside our house comes back to life with endless greenery and catkin flowers. The sun finally shines after what feels like ages. The lakes defrost and the birds that had migrated elsewhere during winter, start coming back home. The waterfalls begin to flow again, providing me with a perfect place to meditate.
It is as though I can almost hear everything defrosting. Being able to breathe in a lung full of spring is one of the reasons I love life. If there are "soul-seasons" like there are "soulmates", I would say, spring is my "soul-season"; because Spring, without a doubt, is a part of my soul.

The writer is a poet and a singer

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