Yesterday, because of the unrelenting rain, my mood got blacker and blacker as the hours passed, bringing us closer to the time we would be sitting outside around a bonfire, grilling food IN THE RAIN. Every year, I fervently wish for clear skies and if not balmy, at least not wet, weather for Walpurgis Eve. Too many times I am disappointed and sit sodden and miserable, marveling at the Swedes who, watertight in their rain gear, seem to be reveling in their insane outdoor tradition, until enough time has passed that I judge it won't be considered rude if I disappear inside. This year, the rain beat down all day in a steady downpour and as my hair frizzed more and more crazily in panic I had wild last-minute thoughts of refusing to go, even knowing how it would disappoint my husband and kids, not to mention our friends with whom we have this standing engagement each year.
Anders checked the internet and assured me that the meteorologists had promised clearing skies by evening, but as we set off just after 5 o'clock there was no lightening in sight to the southwest from whence our weather comes. Mats was just starting the fire when we arrived 45 minutes later and the trees, grasses, wood, and benches were shiny and wet and running with water. I went inside and commiserated with his wife, Annelott, who was also lamenting the chilly wetness, until people started arriving. We all sat, damp and dripping, making jokes about the crap weather, and then the fire was burned down enough for Mats to set the round wire grill over it and hotdogs appeared as if by magic from every direction. Anders had made shish kebabs this year (spiced-marinated-pork, mushrooms, red & yellow peppers, zucchini slices, and little onions) and to top them off he stuffed jacket potatoes under the coals. Rain hissed on the grill, but softer and softer. A short while later, I looked up in amazement and said, "Has it stopped raining?" and "What is that bright THING in the sky?!"
It had. And it was the sun. Setting, but nevertheless, the sun came out and blessed our bonfire. Skona Maj, välkommen!
Martin and I just went for a walk for the first time in a couple of months. Because of work insanity, and too much to do in nearly every sphere of my life, my good intentions of the new year were sidetracked a few months ago, and I've not been doing my daily half hour. Today was a fresh start, and tomorrow is the official beginning of a walking competition that I've signed up for through work, so I'll be wearing a pedometer and keeping track every day for the next month and a half of how many steps I actually take. The half hour walk netted me 3000, which was more than I anticipated. I don't know if there is a daily goal for the competition, but it doesn't matter that much to me as MY daily goal is the half hour. All the way around Flyinge I wished I'd brought the camera with me to record the buds, the little green buds, the pussywillows and the ex-pussywillows which have already burst into bright yellow puffs. We saw glory-of-the-snow and wood anemone and siberian squill. We saw the blood-red fingers of the beginning of peonies. We saw daffodils and narcissus and jonquils and I couldn't begin to tell you the difference between any of them and it doesn't help that I always thought buttercups was another name for daffodils (turns out it isn't). Spring is sprung!