Shaking off the Slumber


Wrocław, Poland – April 2008

It’s been many years since I’ve experienced spring in the North. I’d forgotten how nature hesitates, in love with its own slumber. The innocent smell of unfurling buds. Sunrays seep through the residual damp that emanates from the earth. People mill about the old market square. Hesitant voices. Bewildered gazes. What is that thing in the sky?

Shop assistants and restaurant staff emerge from darkened doorways. They stand immobile. Faces upturned, eyes closed. Stubborn scowls soften into the slightest of smiles.


46 thoughts on “Shaking off the Slumber

    • It’s the Town Hall. Wrocław was influenced by a few different cultures. We’ve had such an easy winter and early spring over here in Bratislava. It’s about a month early. The lilacs are already blooming. I don’t mean to rub it in. 😉 Hope the sun shines on your part of the world soon.

  1. Spring in northern Europe was such a revelation for me after Sydney where most of the trees keep their leaves all year round and people complain of the cold when the temperature is 14C.
    Feel a bit nostalgic.

    • I grew up in the North, but I lived in warm climates for many years and got used to no clearly defined seasons. After moving back up here, it took a few years to get used to the dramatic changes, but I love them.

  2. I love the top photo especially- the colors remind me of an impressionist painting – and after this winter here in the US I hope I never forget how precious springtime is with its message of renewal- your post reinforces that very thought-

    • That’s why I posted it – to show that no matter how horrible the winter, spring always comes. We’ve had it easy this year over here in Slovakia and I’m taking advantage of it, because who knows what next year will bring.

  3. Oh, such fond memories of Wrocław, the Salt Square, the old town hall … and the Spiż brewery. I still have a beer glass from that beautiful dungeon of a drinking hall … and I’ll never forgot my first taste of smalec on the most amazing pumpernickel bread. An unforgettable piece of history combining the Czech, German, and Polish cultures …. A truly beautiful corner of the world to discover.

    • I just knew you’d chime in with the food and drink facets of Wrocław. 😀 My husband liked smalec, too. I didn’t try it, because I don’t eat meat. But Polish cuisine is suprisinly vegetarian-friendly: pierogi ruskie, naleśniki, placki ziemniaczane.

  4. “I’d forgotten how nature hesitates, in love with its own slumber.” What a profoundly moving explanation. While most of us long for the soft winds of spring, there is the matter of “waking up.” Winter is rest. Winter frees us from the need to focus our energy on growth, movement, change, rebirth. We hesitate, we consider the ramifications of taking that first step of looking up, of summoning that “slightest of smiles.”

    Beautifully written – a joy to read! Thank you….

  5. Love the photo of spring blossom and people seated, enjoying the pale sunshine. I must be in a perpetual state of winter verging on spring….I am always in love with my own slumber. 😉

  6. You describe spring so beautifully and accurately. I especially like the line about nature hesitating, in love with its own slumber.

  7. Oh my, this post was just too short for me to reading! You did it so well. Me too I like the builduing in the fisrt photo, so unusual…thanks for the explanations in the other answer to the comments.
    Have a great day!Cris

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