I have come to understand.
Just now we stood gazing out an upstairs window across rooftops, beyond trees, to fireworks exploding over the castle in the middle of town. The darkening sky beyond was tinged with the fading orange light of the sunken sun, the clock past ten.
Fireworks on the last of April are no longer a curiosity for me. I have lived through enough winters in Sweden to understand the celebration. The end of the darkness. Spring is here; summer is coming. Halleluja!
In Australia winter is just a cool pause between long hot summers. Spring arrives and passes momentarily, replaced suddenly by the beating heat which dominates life down under. Here in Sweden winter is the norm, life lived in the freezer; summer is an explosion of light and warmth, a breathing space in the cold struggle of existence.
The arrival of Spring is a reason to celebrate, to dance, to eat, to drink, to make merry. The bonfires are burning brightly tonight. The darkness is chased away. The time of singing has come.