Le Printemps

It seems winter is loosening its grip on spring which has finally begun to push its way to Provence.  The balance of daylight and darkness is shifting with lighter longer days now taking center stage, displaying telling signs that the new season is imminent.  It has been a slow change, with the temperamental and ever lingering cold, damp days of winter not far behind us.  March used to be the precarious month, really in a season of its own lost somewhere between winter and spring, but now April seems to have followed suit, accepting the spring equinox closer to the end of the month rather than at the start and greeting us with a new coat of frost on many of our morning walks.  At this time of year when we are ready to shed our winter wear, Mother Nature usually has other plans forcing us to wait just a little longer.  Just as I write this post, a storm has rolled in with grey skies, high winds and rain.  A reminder of just how fragile spring can be.

I love to be living again in a region with four seasons, each having its distinctive character and beauty, offering its uniqueness to provide changes to our daily lives.  Arriving mid-February, almost at the tail end of winter, gripped by grey, cold, rainy days we are now moving into spring with warmer, brighter days inviting the transformation it brings with it.  The land succumbs to its arrival, making way for budding flowers and trees, green grass and a sundry of wildflowers.  Provence is now laden with fruit trees in full bloom, green wheat grass growing by the minute, scattered wild gladiolas and poppies filling fields, all giving the landscape an aura like that of a Monet painting.  Each day on my walk I seem to discover a new tree in blossom coloring the land with a different pastel flower for this season.  Almond trees were the first to bud arriving very early in March, scattering villages with their soft pink hue.  Cherry blossoms seemed to have bloomed overnight, filling meadows with their puffy white flowers, giving me the sense of being surrounded by vast fields of cotton.  Now lilac and judas trees grace our presence, charming me with their varying shades of purple.

As spring gently moves in, I am slowly beginning to rejuvenate, gaining energy from the brighter longer days.  I loose myself to the extra hours each day brings, not really sure what time it is anymore by the change of light.  I enjoy all of the sights and sounds that springtime has to offer, the subtle shifting of sunlight in our house, how our garden slowly, but quickly, takes bloom and the fragrance of lilac in the air.  Loulou and Kismet love the new daylight and extra outdoor time it bestows, hoping for longer walks and new exploring in unknown areas.  Just recently groomed, they are ready for the warmth to arrive.  Until then, we wait, now captivated by a new sound of this season.  The music of toads and frogs gracing our nights, filling the quiet stillness with their love song, acknowledging the arrival of spring and the end to another day...