As the temperatures have been warming up, I wanted to look around for signs that Spring is definitely here to stay. A few magnolias have bloomed in my neighbourhood and a single, sad cherry-blossom tree. The rest seem to have been burnt by the drastic changes of temperatures. They all look a bit sorry and bare.
I figured out that the best place to check is my favourite park. It's not the prettiest in Dublin, Stephen's Green probably holds that title, but come a kinder climate, I feel drawn to this little concrete pond surrounded by a comfortable lawn and shading trees. It's just unassuming and cosy, no need to bring your clothbound Joyce, any old paperback is welcome.
The sad thing is when I got there beginning of this week, the park was not quite ready for spring. I suppose maintenance had to be delayed due to our long winter, so the lawn was turned over and the trees and bushes were chopped and trimmed. The poor park was definitely not looking its best. But I guess giving a month or so and with a bit of a sunny push, it will be back in its old modest splendour.
Nonetheless, it felt good walking around seeing morsels of blue sky here and there and even being able to take off a layer or two. And I'm happy to report that Spring was definitely there as the daffodils were swaying in their brightest yellow, ducklings were happily waddling and pigeons were doing what pigeons do best: pestering on their female kind.
But I've seen the weather turn for the worse before so I don't count my chickens. I still remember the last Spring I spent in Belgium a few years ago. A killer frost took away a full-bloom Spring. It was just heart-breaking. Me and my dog had a long walk around the lake, in complete disbelief. Echoes of crying childless ducks were rippling over the icy water. I still can sometimes hear them howling their losses in my head. Yes, Nature or God, whatever you call it, can be incredibly cruel, but it can give the most beautiful gifts. So let's celebrate that and hope*. I'll end with this quote from the last book I finished:
"I suppose the best kind of spring morning is the best weather God has to offer." - Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)* unnecessary heavy shit brought on by sunshine cravings.