Winter in Tübingen, Dreams of Spring in Paris

February 23, 2010

Colors are one of life’s greatest gifts, and right now when I am sick and tired of winter and its friends (snow, rain, clouds, and cold) focusing on them helps to make things a little more bearable. Winter everywhere wears people down and I know I’m not the only one dreaming of warmer days, and while the official start of spring may still be a month away, spring colors are already appearing here in Europe…

Rain and Sun in Paris

I snapped the above picture on my bus-ride to class last Thursday. The sun was shining when all of the sudden the sky opened up and rain started pouring down. I love the robin-egg-blue sky full of sunshine…the hunched tourists and umbrella is the only signal that it isn’t a perfectly lovely day. What the tourist with the camera was lucky enough to photograph was one of the most magnificent rainbows I have ever seen. I caught a glimpse out of the bus’ back window but we were moving before I could position my camera. As disappointed as I am to have missed the photo, it still made my day seeing the magnificent arc-en-ciel in person.

A field in Tübingen, Germany

There may have been snow in Germany last weekend, but the blue skies and sunshine promised to make it disappear. Underneath the snow the grass was green, and soon this field and the others around it will be prepared for planting. The expanses of blue sky and white snow were beautiful, and walking with Colbert throughout the countryside was a welcome break from Paris’ endless gray concrete. When it’s sunny and the snow is melting it’s much easier to appreciate winter. Snow and ice are much less menacing when their temporal qualities are immediately apparent!

Tree trunk, Germany

Blue skies are lovely but green is the true sign of spring. The color variations in this fast growing lichen stood out dramatically against dead leaves and snow, the color equivalent of yelling out “LIFE”.  I just can’t wait to see those colors in new foliage and sprouting plants around Paris-though the Jardin du Luxembourg is probably the only place I’m likely to see that I guess. The joys of living on concrete-at least city life is consistent?

Tulips in Paris

I can’t feel too “blue” about city life though. I may not be witnessing new life growing before my eyes, but I am at least able to have concentrated doses of the end result. Tulips have recently begun popping up in Paris by the masses-cut or planted they are absolutely everywhere! I haven’t been able to resist (tulips are my favorite flower along with daffodils-both harbingers of spring go figure) and I bought a potted orange one for my host family, accompanied by chocolate of course, for Valentine’s Day. (My host mother is naming it “Victoria” and she plans to plant it at their country home so that each year when it blooms they will be reminded of me. The kindness and thought behind that statement were even better than the blossoms from my namesake.)

I am also happy to say that with the colors has come some milder weather, making time outdoors a pleasure instead of just a necessity. I’ll be keeping my camera ready and my eyes open in the next few weeks-maybe the roses behind Notre Dame will start growing…

I can only hope! A bientôt!

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2 Responses to “Winter in Tübingen, Dreams of Spring in Paris”

  1. grandma said

    Good Morning! I just love the photo of the tree and of course the picture of the tulips in the market is wonderful. Yellow is my favorite color as you well know. Anyway, I have a rainbow story too. Tuesday the front doorbell rang and when I answered it there was your grandfather telling me to “hurry out and see”. There in the sky was one of the most vivid whole rainbows that I have ever seen – it was so close that you felt you could reach out and touch it! So we stood in the rain and watched it for quite a while – I guess you could call it a senior’s romantic moment. Love you. Grandmom

  2. Victoria said

    Ah mais c’est trop beau comme histoire! Quelle chance! (oh what a beautiful story! How lucky!) I read your comment secretly during my internship (shh don’t tell) and my face broke into the biggest smile-good thing my boss wasn’t looking-she would have known for sure that it wasn’t because of my research! I think it’s wonderful that you and grandpa still have romantic moments, this makes me miss you both a lot though! We have to set up a skype date soon. Thank you for making my day! ❤

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