Victor Hugo said, “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” Berlin is decked out in some delicious winter sunshine today that succeeded in driving the memory of an endlessly grey Sunday from my mind (Please note that the memory of Monday was an unfortunate casualty in this altercation). Seasons, in the literal and metaphorical sense, have always fascinated me and living in Berlin has afforded me the opportunity of discovering many new faces of spring, summer, autumn and winter, realising anew that they all have their beauty and carry different parts of me in their memories:
“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.” – Yoko Ono
The first poem I ever read about winter was the sonnet by NP van Wyk Louw that takes the season’s name as its title. The narrator asks himself how he could have considered summer richer than winter’s silent and mysterious growth, steeped in peace. This question imprinted itself on my mind and ever since I have looked on winter’s grey and stripped emptiness differently, always wondering: What miracles are springing to life below the surface?