It always happens the same way, several times during each visit. She sees the yellow roses I brought, her face lights up, and she retells the story. Although her dementia tends to wildly jumble her stories together, she always gets this one right.
It was shortly after the end of the second world war; she and grandfather were going to marry. But no matter how hard he tried, he simply could not find any red roses for her bouquet. In the end, he had to take yellow roses – the only roses he could find. From that day on, he always gave her yellow roses. Each and every anniversary, every birthday, yellow roses, for her.
She always gets this story right.
In the time leading up to this New Year’s Eve, as usual, I felt a sort of resentfulness towards all the impending excess: all the drunk dolled up people, all the unnecessary expensive fireworks, all the noise and the waste afterwards in every street of every city.
But as it happens, the experience itself once more overturned my initial grumpiness. When the clock struck midnight, I stood at my attic floor window and marvelled at all the lights and colours outside like a child. There were so many in every direction, the air was filled with the shrill sounds of rockets and firecrackers, the night sky illuminated again and again by short-lived magnificent showers of radiant lights. For a blissful moment, I felt very much at peace; once again, for the first time in a long while, feeling very much a part of the society I happen to have been born into, feeling very much a part of this contingent community of humans that revels in the tradition of greeting each and every new year with an explosion of noise and shimmering lights, again and again, without questioning it. We do this because it simply is the kind of thing we like to do, and it is beautiful. That’s enough, and it feels warm and sound when it is enough.
“We are one, we are alive”
Death Cab for Cutie – Codes and Keys
Bonus: My Dad is a Kid
The last days of any given year always have an air of tension and finality to me, like something fundamental will definitely change before the last day of the year is over, whether I end up noticing what it is or not. It’s weird, really, hard to put into words.
Such it has also been this time, but the days were a neat experience because Terry, Ole and Erik stayed with me in my little flat for a few days. Besides a lot of N64 and Assassin’s Creed II gaming, my favourite experiences were our two little running adventures: one in autumn colours and one clad in freshly fallen snow. These are the pictures, two little overviews first!