Monday, 6 April 2015

What I miss about spring

Growing up in England I remember looking out for the little signs of spring in still-wintry February and March.  The first green shoots starting to come through, the first snowdrops appearing, then daffodils, crocuses, primroses, hyacinths...  More images of spring flowers that I'd forgotten about creep back into my mind.  I used to be able to name many of them.

Easter, spring, expat, Mexico

I miss those spring flowers.  Small spots of colour under a grey sky.  A surreptitious army of resistance in the struggle against the cold hard grip of winter.   The hesitant sun hardly warms at all.

In Mexico, spring asserts itself early, brashly confident of victory in a battle already won.  Bougainvillea blooms in various gaudy shades of pink.  Lilac-coloured blossoms cover the Jacaranda trees.  A powerful sun flexes its muscles and radiates temperatures that a British summer heatwave might aspire to.

It's different.

Another thing I miss at this time of year is having a garden.  There's something nostalgic about the idea of a garden - I must have spent quite a lot of time as a child playing in the garden in the spring and summer months, but here, at least in cities, it's not so common to have a back garden.  Most people have a paved or concrete patio for the laundry and maybe an area to put some plant pots and that's usually it in a normal-sized house.  Gardening is not such a popular pastime as it is in the UK.

Now we're in the Easter holidays it seems a bit late to be talking about signs of spring.  We've had some false starts to the season (a sudden cold front), but now spring is here with a vengeance!  The days are hot and the sun burns.

Easter isn't celebrated in the same way.  In England it seems to be mainly about chocolate.  Here there is no tradition of giving chocolate eggs, or of having a special Easter meal.  Not even an Easter egg hunt.  So, deprived of Easter eggs, I fantasise about a Cadbury's creme egg...

Easter celebrations in Mexico are mostly of a religious nature, like the somewhat unsettling Procession of Silence (Procesión del Silencio) and lifelike reenactments of the "Pasión de Cristo".  These events aren't for everyone, though, and a lot of people don't go to see them.

These things are what spring means to me, past and present.

How about you?  What are your favourite things about spring? Do you have any special traditions that you associate with this time of year?



Linking up with
Seychelles Mama

10 comments:

  1. For me Easter is the start of spring....it is also is not celebrated in Taiwan. I missed that. I missed the slight change of season from winter to spring. It went from cool to very hot here.

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    1. Yes, there's not much of a gentle transition, suddenly it's full-on summer weather at Easter. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Great post Ruth! This time of year is the hottest time for us and it is unbearable sometimes!! No lovely subtle spring time flowers here it's HOT HOT HOT!!!!
    Easter here is also all about religion but we were very excited that our little international store had Easter eggs for the first time this year woohoo!!
    For me though I love the nice roast!!
    We did our own Easter roast dinner this time, which honestly is quite crazy considering the heat but it was really lovely! A slice of home, especially the stuffing yum yum!!!
    Thanks for sharing this with #myexpatfamily I hope you manage to get your cream egg craving satisfied somehow!!! Xx

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    1. Lucky you finding Easter eggs! I don't hold out much hope for the creme eggs, though. The Easter roast sounds great, even in the heat.
      Thanks for hosting!

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  3. I completely understand this! Although spring in Italy is lovely and I really shouldn't complain, I do also miss certain things about spring in the UK. Daffodils especially! It's the familiarity of it all, I think - when that's taken away it's impossible to shake the feeling that something is missing. That said, I do think you adapt more than realise. I lived in Japan for a few years and although I missed the daffodils when I was there, I found myself missing the cherry blossoms once I'd left :-)

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  4. I think that as the years go by there are certain things I miss more. Christmas is the worst, then spring and Easter after that. But I would miss lots of things about Mexico if I left, too.
    Thanks for commenting!

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  5. Mexico reminds me of my country (Philippines). And this is the part of Easter that I miss. The religious side and the celebration after. I wish I can bottle spring and send it to you! #myexpatfamily

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    1. Thanks! It would be great if we could bottle those kinds of intangible things to have them wherever we are. But then we wouldn't value them so much.

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  6. I cannot imagine Easter without the familiarity of British Spring. I guess you must adjust after a while though and the sun must help :-)

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    1. The sun definitely helps! I suppose no matter how much I think I've adjusted, there is always something that makes me miss home every once in a while. Thanks for commenting!

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