Christmas is long gone along with New Year's eve. The skiing holidays are nearly over and the year is well on the way. The colder, shorter days are getting longer, crocus flowers peeping out of the ground and baby sheep
jumping about on lush green grass drenched in soft sun shine. Well in short the spring is in the air!
A few weeks ago, we were driving to the UNESCO site of Kinderdijk,
along the tremendously monotonous Dutch country side. This should normally be an experience which does not fall under exciting! Not this time though, this time I noticed the signs of spring (may be it is the age!). It was a profound shock to realize that for years I took these things for granted! Until this time spring served only one purpose i.e. respite from colder winters!
Since I noticed this change, I can now hear the birds singing (which to me was just chirping until last spring). The most innocent face of spring I believe is that of the lamb! It definitely fills me up when I look at little sheep (lambs) jumping about in the fields.
The chicks (not human beings of opposite kind) are supposed to be the symbol of spring which of course we all know also denotes the Easter. If you did not remember then toy-r-us, McDonalds and Coca colas of this age would make sure that you do.
For Western Europe, most common give away of spring is Daffodils. These humble flowers grow everywhere and boy they grow fast. The yellow flowers with green leaves
and grass are a wonderful combination to look at. I wonder if ABNAMRO bank has copied their colors? Daffs have been very special to me as it was my first encounter with spring. This goes back to 1997 spring where one fine day when sun was shining is a chilly air I saw all 10,000 of them. The looked exactly as described by William Wordsworth in his poem. This goes to show that William Wordsworth was a great poet same can be said about the poem GawatPhulaa (Grass flower as per freetranslation.com) by Baalkavi. These poems must be good because I remember them after all these years!
The Netherlands is a very small country, but it has the most visited attractionthe Keukenhof of majestic tulips
which grow from 23rd March till 21 May. I go there every year some times even twice or thrice. Dutch think I am going loopy!
When I reflect upon the years gone by! I can say Europe has very distinctive seasons. But the part of India I come from does not have a drastic change in seasons so I cannot really pinpoint the changes in spring. I can remember though a pair of robins would have little ones during the spring on Parijatak tree (Night Jasmine if you believe Google) in our front yard. My father would never allow us to disturb them. Parijatak,
I suppose, also blossoms during this time. But again I might be completely off the track here. For an Indian, the spring is marked by Mango blossoms! Every house hold readies itself for the eminent Mango fest in May. Indian heart and culture is dominated by vibrant colors.
I think that is why the holi, the festival of colors, is celebrated to complement the changing colors of Mother Nature.
Japanese make most of their much awaited spring fest of Hanami (flower viewing) which is nothing but celebrating the very existence of cherry blossom. But it is also an excuse for wild drinking and karaoke singing under Sakura trees. Women in
their kimono and men (mostly legless due to overdose of Sake’) walking or should I say dragging around the Sakura trees would be a sight to behold. But then again I am imagining this all as I have never been to the land of rising sun or should I say Toyota, Nissans and Honda
I wonder what the Norwegians’ do when then come out of ghastly winter of exceptionally long nights and drastic temperatures! I wish to share Glimpses of
Norway on the site below http://www.norway.com May be it will tell me/you what they do to celebrate spring.
Australians/New Zealander/people of Kiribati on the other hand are preparing for warm clothing as the winter dawns on them. I have even heard that they plan Christmas like celebrations just get into the winter mood.
Dear reader, I have not been to many countries and hence it would be great if you could share your experiences of spring celebrations. Please drop a line if it is worth your while.
I truly believe that every part of on this earth is beautiful in it's own way (This does not include the likes of fancy shopping malls, fast food restaurants etc) and stopping a moment and enjoying what the nature and the different cultures have to offer won't be complete waste of time.
So if you can celebrate and enjoy the awakening of Mother Nature, breath a little, live a little and open your heart because the spring is in the air.
Thanks for stopping bye. Stay lucky.