After the longest winter in Belgium for decades spring has finally arrived with a sudden burst of sunshine and temperatures of 22°C. With snow falling until the end of March I had begun despairing that my favourite season in Belgium would never arrive.
Spring is the season of hope and giddy expectation. One day the world seems dead and cold and the next frail green life is emerging everywhere. Life seems to burst forth in a fast-forward hurry, rushing to break through earth and wood, stretching hungrily towards the sun. Flowers appear, seemingly out of nowhere, to decorate forest floors and grey branches, in white, pink and yellow. We shed the heavy coats that, together with gravity, have conspired to pull us into the darkness of the earth all winter, and free of this weight we float in the miraculously bright sunshine. Ephemeral butterflies and adorably clumsy bumblebees appear in the air. Birds adorn the world with ribbons of sound.
Spring is my favourite season in Belgium, because it is the one that makes me the happiest. Somehow the expectation of summer is more inspiring than summer itself. But I love all seasons. In fact, what I love is that there are seasons. While a winter like this one makes me wish I lived in the Bahamas, I am not sure a place with no seasons would suit me. Every season has its own character. People think I am mad when I tell them that at the end of summer I’m actually looking forward to autumn, but autumn has its charm. Unlike spring and summer, which are joyful seasons, perfect for fun and social interaction, autumn and winter are seasons for introspection. We sit quietly inside while the storm rages on the other side of the window, thinking about the year that has passed. It is a melancholy time, but sadness has its own muted beauty, and in contrast the advent of spring is all the more bright.
Ok, enough about the cold dark seasons, you can read plenty about that in my early posts.
Spring is finally gracing us with its presence. There is not yet much green on the trees but the forest floor is showing the way.
In some rare places small baby leaves have appeared on branches…
…and flowers are coloring the world.