Denmark is full of surprises; weeks of off-white, a blending of earth and sky, followed by unexpected color. The colors of the landscape feel unreal, they are so vibrant, and I'm never sure if it's because they actually are, or because they're rare.
More often than not, the morning light doesn't last. It is choked by a blanket of clouds that roll in off the fjord. On the days that stay sunny, I like to stand on the third-story deck, close my eyes, and pretend I am in Oak Island with my family, while the Danish seagulls crow in the distance.
This morning, while out on my five-mile route, I ended up adjacent to another runner. I realized I was unconsciously trying to race her (I blame my father) until we reached the stop light and met. Her name is Lena and she lives in a nearby co-op. She said that her community is composed of about twenty families who eat together every evening, and take turns cooking. She cooks twice in five weeks, and she's invited me to visit.
I told her it was funny we'd met, because I'd just been walking through the co-op neighborhood last weekend, and wondering about it - how they lived and worked together, and if I could live like that. She said it is just like family in that you have the same ups and downs as you do with your own, which can be good and bad in turn.
This made me think of two things: living on the small bible school campus in Bandon, Oregon, and a folk school in North Carolina where I took oil painting one summer. I don't remember the bible school too well, since I was so small at the time, but I do recall this feeling of all-things-shared: homes, food, beliefs. The folk school was also a close-knit community. They met in the main lodge every morning for coffee and live music, grew their own vegetables to serve in the cafeteria, and had contradancing and bonfires in the evenings. It was unusual, and beautiful in its own way.
Sometimes I think it'd be good for me to try that kind of thing out as an adult. A creative, organic lifestyle with other families, and maybe my coffeehouse. I have reclusive tendencies in the winter, and it becomes all too easy for me to disappear. To forget how much I like being around other people unless forced, or until the sun comes out again.
Which is another beautiful thing about spring, this annual awakening.