Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On June

I don’t have a favourite month, mostly because all the months have their particular charm. Also, I’d probably feel compelled to pick my poor, unloved birth month, November; and frankly November isn’t my preferred month (but don’t tell it I said so!).

June, on the other hand, is one of those months everyone can agree is lovely. Living in Norway (or anywhere far north in the world) there is one thing that makes June extra special, and that is the light. We have light! Lots and lots of it! If the darker months (like November, but really, let’s try not to make November any sadder, okay? It already has a hard time dealing with the fact that nobody really likes it) – if the darker months seem, well, dark, there is always June to look forward to. We have what feels like endless daytime (some parts of Norway really do have endless days a few weeks, but I’m not far enough north to enjoy the midnight sun). It’s still light out when it’s supposed to be your bedtime (almost no matter when your bedtime is), and consequently many of us stay up much later than during the winter. That’s okay, though, because with all the light you don’t really need as much sleep (or so goes the common myth that I zealously obey to).

Another reason I like June is that it is strawberry season. Norwegian strawberries are (in my opinion) the best in the world, largely because of all that light; and they will soon be ripe. Strawberries with milk or cream, with or in ice cream, on cakes, as jam, or eaten directly from the box while you dip your feet in the fjord out on some island... Ah! It must be what heaven feels like!

June is also one of the few months when Norwegians enjoy something that in most parts of the world merely qualifies as “spring”. Norway will never be the warmest place on earth (unless the global climate change creates a completely new balance), but I am satisfied if our temperatures reach the 20s (celcius). That is enough for summer dresses and walking barefoot in the grass, and maybe for having an occasional bath in a nearby lake. (That must also be what heaven feels like – in fact, I think heaven probably feels a lot like June.)

Finally, June is a great month for writing. (You almost thought I’d go an entire post without mentioning our little wrimo, BuNoWriMo, didn’t you? Ha! Seriously, though, I won’t keep bringing it up, but we really have a great group gathered [link still in the upper right corner, if you want to join], and with all the happy vibes and encouragement going on it wouldn’t surprise me if we max this challenge with 5 million words altogether – which is HUGE!)

June has always been a great month for writing for me, though. First of all there is the vacation aspect. June has traditionally been the month where my (seemingly) endless summer vacations from school started (though this year I have no vacation at all – my thesis takes no time off *sigh*). With no school, June was when I had the time to write (before the July laziness kicked in). Secondly, the long, light nights also helped. I have lots of memories of sitting up half the night watching the swallows glide across the sky (they must never sleep!) while writing. One of my first epiphanies (the realization that I wanted to be a writer) came one such night when I was about 13. During those many hours of light and the very few hours of darkness I wrote my way through three (!) pens and countless notebook pages, ending up with something of a “writer manifesto”. I have departed somewhat from that since... But the feeling of June as the month where anything is possible stayed with me. Thus, it is only fitting that June will be the month where I finish my first novel (yesIcanyesIcanyesIcan!!!).


M.J. Nicholls said...

Viva June! Viva June! (I'm repenting for the Eurovision cynicism in my last comment).

Oh, Norwegian strawberries are YUM. I have so tucked into 400 bowls of those sweet and sugary (yes, I insist on sugar) beautites. In fact, send me some now. I'll send you an extra five hours in the day. If you like.

Watery Tart said...

*giggles* Take Mark up on that extra five hours! You can use it for your WriMo out on your balcony! (you DO have a balcony, don't you?)

YAY for June! I love the drama... Thunder storms abound. And then the air is heavy and moist (mmmm... moist. Appealing, ne? *snort*)--but I actually like the June humidity because FEELING the air has a sensuality... unlike the WASHING in the air of July where it is too hot and the humidity makes it suck rocks.

Cruella Collett said...

Mark - well played! Your cynicism is now neutralized and I am willing to consider your offer. I haven't actually seen any Norwegian strawberries about yet, but if it will bring me extra hours to the day I will definitely send some as soon as they appear. (Any day now I am going to demand to know where and when you got your Scandinavia inside info. You spent every holiday here from the age of 5 to 12? You are actually 114 years old and was stationed here during the war [which would also make you German..]? You are immortal Viking who left his beloved Norffegur and settled in Scotland in 1066?)

Tami - I have a French balcony. Which essentially means I can open the door but not get anywhere. Where I lived before we had a WriterMustHaVeranda(TM) - it had a table and a live bat flying around on the lawn outside, and if you added candles, some blankets and a glass of wine I could sit there all night. I miss that balcony!

We don't really get all that much humidity in June though. It's Norway, after all. It's only humid when it actually rains. Thunder, though, we get that. Been wondering if there were thunder storms about all week, but alas - only people dragging their suitcases on the asphalt below...

Cheeseboy said...

I didn't know Norwegians made strawberries. I will have to try them next time I go to Norway, which will hopefully be someday.

Norway weather sounds a lot like Utah weather.

Cruella Collett said...

It sounds like you have been here before (why am I always so surprised when people have visited Norway? It happens, really, it does!), Cheeseboy? And you should definitely try some Norwegian strawberries (it's a short season, though - June and the first half of July, perhaps - it differs from year to year of course).

I don't know what Utah weather is like, but Norway weather (though naturally different from north to south, since it's a long and narrow country) isn't much sought after by non-Norwegians. They tend to think we have too much winter and not enough summer. I like it, though (even if I wouldn't mind an extra month of summer or spring in exchange for one of the winter ones)

Jan Morrison said...

oh June. How I miss it! Yes, for although we had an actual spring this year for the first time in the 34 years I've lived here - alas, alack June is back to being rainy cool and well june like (for here). Ah well - good for me so I won't be tempted out into the garden so much where I have strawberries growing!!!!! I have to pluck their blossoms until the middle of July as this is their first year and thems the rules but still! And lots of lettuce coming up and radishes and and and...I love my garden. I am glad you are writing away and never forget that dream. You can do it~

Cruella Collett said...

June can be like that here too, but so far so good *crosses fingers* Your garden sounds lovely, Jan. Some day I am having a garden (though before that I ought to marry a gardener as my fingers are about as far from green as they come).

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