An ode to spring (in all of its forms)

Flowers and bike by a house entrance along one of the city’s main canal: the Keizersgracht. Photo by Elisa Barbier

Spring may be unpredictable, but it’s still my favourite season.

Is it sundress season yet? I thought it was, until that glorious snowstorm we all woke up to on Thursday. Before that, I had set out to write an ode to spring in honour of the frost finally thawing, but the weather reports laughed in my face. “Is spring still your favourite season?” they wondered, cackling and rubbing their hands together. Despite the unpredictability of the season, I will defend spring to the end. 

Okay, so maybe the haters of the season have a point. Even once the snow finally melts (and stays away for good) it isn’t the easy-breezy sunshine and green grass transformation we see in cartoons. It’s more like brown slush, ground littered with ancient cigarette butts, and fossilized dog sh—well, I think we all know what I’m talking about. 

The springs of my childhood outside of the city weren’t much prettier, to be fair. The snow piles sometimes didn’t fully disappear until June, and I have vivid memories of flooded roads and the soccer field turning into a swamp.

Where is the glamorized version of spring we desperately need, the one with bees and flowers and blooming buds that all the poets are so obsessed with? That version of the season often doesn’t fully come around until May or June, by the time we’re already a couple of months deep into spring. March and April are really more of an awkward transition, an uncomfortable dance between winter and the vague promises of summer. 

Still, the glimpses of sunlight make it all worth it. What I love about spring is the chase: the exhaustion of winter and the tension of constantly checking the weather, followed by the thrill of finally being able to stash the winter coats. There truly is no better feeling than the first true feeling of spring air. Not only can you breathe better, but also the joy is palpable. Everyone can attest to the weight that gets lifted when winter finally passes. There’s an undeniable mood boost that hits at the end of seasonal blues and brings droves of hibernators out into the thawing parks.

Not only that, but we also get to witness the days get longer and longer. The joy of not being plunged into darkness at 4 p.m.! More sunlight means more Vitamin D and overall health improvements—both physical and mental. 

And sure it might be a little while until the flowers bloom, but the snow right now will only make the wait more worth it. Soon the icicles will melt from the trees, and you know what comes next. There’s nothing cuter than buds on the trees—sure they aren’t proper leaves, but they’re trying to be, and I think that should be enough. 

My strongest case for spring though is absolutely indisputable, no matter what anyone else says: the best concerto in Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons is Spring. I will not be taking arguments; this is a fact, not an opinion. So here’s my advice to you: to fully embrace the beauty of spring, throw open your windows (when the weather permits), blast some Vivaldi, and trust that the spring is here for real. 

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