Spring has Sprung

This is part of what will be my ‘Through the Seasons in London’ series. This is my first time in the northern hemisphere and witnessing the different seasons. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed experiencing changing seasons!

Spring in London is exactly what the poets have always written about. It’s a time when people begin to wake up from their winter hibernation. As the sun shines and people shed layers of clothing, they also shed the protective layer they wrap around themselves in winter. They become lighter, happier and they smile more. There are smiles on the underground as people willingly move down inside the carriages very unlike their insular winter selves. The streets and parks come alive as people seek to leave their homes and soak up the fleeting warm weather and the sun that teases just enough to coax people from their warm cocoons. Flowers bloom and once stark trees begin to show tiny green leaves that fight against the frosty fingers of winter that persist in the early morning hours.

It seems to happen all of a sudden. One moment you’re shivering in the dark at the bus stop and the next bright yellow tulips have sprung up from every green space. Next, cherry blossoms wave from the trees before they begin to scatter a fragrant blanket of snowy petals over the stained concrete sidewalks. Pollen is thick in the air as plants begin to wake up from their long winter slumber. There are people squeezed into every patch of sun in the public parks. Workers come with their brown bagged lunches, students read their textbooks, and of course there are the instagrammers snatching the perfect photo in the long awaited for sunshine.

There there is the old man sitting on the bench clutching his beaten walking stick that is battered through dependent daily use and not from an expensive vintage market in East London. He has been there all year long. For him spring is when the hordes come and scatter the pigeons that he normally feeds. But he isn’t perturbed. He has been sitting on the same bench since he was once a busy worker with his own brown bagged lunches. He has been there for many springs and will be there for as many more as time allows him. He looked upon the hive of activity and smiled which caused the creases in his face to deepen further. He caught me looking at him from my place under the cherry trees where I may have just been one of those instagrammers, and we smiled at each other. Both my fresh face witnessing the wonder of a northern hemisphere spring for the first time and his with its map of life etched in wrinkles and scars, bear evidence to the infectious happiness that spring brings from its first yellow daffodil bloom.

I turned my face upwards to the sun and gazed at the clouds through the boughs of the cherry blossom. For a city that was always buzzing, London came alive in spring.

Blossoming trees in Russell Square, Bloomsbury

What is your favourite time of year? Tell me in the comments below!


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