The first day of spring arrived and with the help of a little wind, brought us a spring-welcoming temperature feeling very much like -26C. I am writing to you from Montreal, Canada; the most European-feeling city in North America. That is, except for the issue of the weather. Many friends and colleagues in Budapest are sending me pictures of trees in bloom, tulips and daffodils. I am not sure if they are trying to rub salt in my weather wound but if they are, they need not; there is enough salt sprinkled on Montreal streets to handle the wounds of the entire Montreal population. Times two.
With the coming of Spring, we look forward to Easter, a time of re-birth, renewal and rejuvenation. Many people all across the world look forward to Easter flowers. In Montreal, the sign of spring is the lost gloves sprouting from the oh-so slowly melting snow. Brown, black, grey and always grimly, they begin to emerge one digit at a time, finally emerging in full dismal bloom.
In many Christian parts of the world, church attendance at Easter is high and people are decked out in their new, spring-best outfits designed in pastels colours; soft and welcoming after a couple of months of grey and drab, long shadows by mid afternoon and darkness well before dinner. (more…)