“April, April, er macht was er will.” So goes the saying in Germany this time of year. And though the weather here is similar to what I grew up with in the northeastern United States, the saying is just another one of the little differences that remind me that I live in a foreign country. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.
Growing up, April was always accompanied by a chorus of “April showers bring May flowers,” a positive spin on the rain common this time of year. But the German saying highlights the unpredictability of April weather. Last year in Mainz we had summer-like tendencies, this year we have beautiful spring weather one day, rain the next, almost freezing tempuratures the next. Both sayings are certainly fitting.
Though April may be rainy and unpleasant as much (if not more than) it is sunny and beautiful, it seems that the entire city of Mainz is basking in the appearance of spring’s little toe. The weekly vegetable market is packed with folks out enjoying the weather and the fresh local produce. Asparagus, a favorite seasonal item on German plates, has started to appear. And by the time the price has fallen to a reasonable level, it will be May, and we’ll be (hopefully) up to our necks in flowers and sunshine.
Case and point: when I started writing this blog post, the sky was blue and the sun was shining. But by the time I arrived at this paragraph, it was pouring down rain. The weather is mild, even if rainy, but I find myself longing for the summer sun despite the flowers that I know this rain will bring. April may do what he wants, but he certainly doesn’t do what I want.
What is April like where you live?