Sometime last Spring I scribbled this:
During my first years in Spain, living in Madrid, I was often quite surprised to hear people welcoming the arrival of Spring and the warm weather. The Winters seemed pretty mild to me, and even if there were days when the temperatures plummeted or the heavens discharged quantities of cats and dogs upon the umbrellaless population, there was always a plentiful supply of sunshine around the corner. Indeed, compared to a ‘good’ Summer in Ireland, the capital of the high central plains appeared to offer even in the depths of Winter more days in the sun. Then when the ‘Spring’ arrived temperatures quickly shot up and within two weeks it was Summer, a Summer of sweltering heat which could last six months. And it was people who had lived in Madrid all their lives who were the first to assure me that this was quite unbearable and that in Summer you had to ‘get out of Madrid’.. Thence my surprise: if the Winters weren’t so bad and the Summers were so very long and so very hot – tres meses de invierno y nueve meses de infierno(..?) – why was everybody in such a hurry to see the Spring?
Later when I moved North to the mountains, I became more aware of the seasons and their differentiation. More aware than I had been for many years, maybe ever. And it was so much better. To begin with, there were seasons(!) ..something not so apparent in the capital. There was still a long Summer of course, but now only about four months, and there was a real Winter which in good years lasted for a solid three months. But, above all, there was a season that could seriously be called Spring, and there was an Autumn worth calling Fall. These seasons which in the city had seemed to be no more than brief transitional phases were restored to their rightful place in the calendar. Yeah, I was really getting back to Nature!
However, despite my happy re-discovery of Spring and knowing that it meant a period of mild or comfortably warm weather and that the brutal heat of Summer was still months away, I was never in any hurry to see the mercury rising. Among other things, I suppose I was getting older and the heat, even mild heat, was ever less attractive to me. So, in those not infrequent years in the Guadarrama when the cold of Winter, softened, with the edge taken off it, but still fresh, is prolonged into late March, thru April and sometimes even into May, in those years and in those invigorating days I am most happy. I really love cold Spring days.