Walking to work this morning the sun seemed braver, showing its face more often, wreathed in bright white clouds. They say around here that when the sky matches the blue and white table cloths* that traditionally cover the tables, the beer gardens will open. Today there was a brief hint of the “Bavarian heavens”, I’m not sure if that was enough to merit a rush to the beer gardens, but the office was suspiciously empty and the street cafes noticeably full.
In the shade there are still mounds of snow, slowly melting under insulating layers of gravel and grime, a reminder of the fact that just three weeks ago Munich was slammed with more than it had seen in 40 years. Three weeks ago we dug ourselves, our cars and each other out from under the stuff and three weeks later people are planting flowers, buying tulips at the store and taking the risk of wearing only a jacket instead of the winter coat.
There is a lightening in the air and in the people, and me as well. Now not only does the sun occasionally shine, but the breeze accompanying it carries a scent of warm earth instead of a frigid chill. Walking home tonight I passed packed gelaterias, filled with couples and families, eating ice cream at eight o’clock, the sky just turning really dark.
Munich has gotten its optimism back.
It may well snow again, it will definitely chill down again too, but we’ve now all had a sign of what’s to come, proof that it can end and the knowledge that, finally, it is about to do so…
(*or the state flag…which looks like a tablecloth, same difference.)