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You know it’s spring when…

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“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold:  when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” ~ Charles Dickens

In the company of friends and their two beautiful and very smart kids (actually “hiram” lang you isa), I had a taste of the most-awaited springtime. Today we had a temperature of 10 degrees celsius, a lot of sun, soft breeze and lots of smiling faces. The weather reporter said yesterday that in this part of the Netherlands, we might experience a temperature of 15 degrees celsius over the weekend. If this kind of weather continues, it cannot be denied that indeed, spring has come to the Netherlands!

March is the month wherein the desire for spring grows stronger. In actuality, it belongs more to the winter. But experiencing so short days and so heavy coats must inspire that yearning for longer warmer days. When spring is talked about, people who live in the west could only hyperventilate in anticipation. And for all the wonderful reasons.

The smell, the beauty and the colors of spring provide the most needed break from the freezing, somber winter days. This is the time when everything blooms most carelessly and when the earth proves its fertility. There is a sudden burst of colors. You see sprouts and buds all over. Slowly, they grow from the ground excitedly seeking the sun. That’s what they got today, and if the weather report is right, that’s what they will get until over the weekend.

Children can go outside and play, enjoy the company of other kids and make friends. Adults can relish a drink or two outside a confined cafe’. Biking under the sun is definitely savored. The enthusiastic gardener can put on his hat once again and work with the arable ground. And when the temperatures soar to 20 degrees celsius, I’m sure, someone will think about having a barbecue! (I know, it’s more for the summer, but should we wait ’til then?!)

Although, there are also people who do not like spring. For while it is characterized with joy and awakening, it is also a season that varies so quickly. Like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you get! They even have a saying here in the Netherlands that describes it perfectly, “Maart roert zijn staart, april doet wat hij wil en mei doet er ook nog wat bij.” (literally: In March, one can still experience rainy and windy weather, April does what he wants and May adds up to it. — source:spreekwoorden.nl)

It is, however, how you look at it. (Like in so many things possible.) While it might rain tomorrow, the sun could also shine the next day. That is exactly the message of spring to all of us (especially those who live in cold locations) — that there is hope. After the short winter days, come longer spring days. After the trees went bald, leaves and flowers grow afresh. After months of eating from a feeder, birds can build their nests anew. Samwise Gamgee from JRR Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” actually described it wonderfully… “Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It’ll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they’ll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields… and eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?”

Thereafter comes summer with a blast. That is, if spring keeps its promise. Which she always does. #

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