Spring sneaks into Vancouver. You’ve got your head down, and your shoulders hunched and your hood up, when you suddenly look up and realize that the sun is shining, and Spring has ARRIVED!
For the last few days I have been working downtown, and there is nothing more beautiful, in my experience, than Vancouver in Spring sunshine. I catch the Skytrain through New Westminster, along the huge slow Fraser River, into the bustle of Metrotown and out again, beside the peaceful parks and cycle paths. As we reach Vancouver, the sun glints off the glass towers, the new leaves and the waves out on the water. I stare at the new Community Garden which has sprung up on an abandoned parking lot near Science World – raised beds which a month ago were barely filled with soil, now a patchwork of shades of green . The grass and wildflower roof of the Convention Centre is dazzling and busy with the bees from the Centre’s own hives. The snow on the mountains, which look so close on a clear day, is almost too bright to look at.
I find myself running late for meetings as I am distracted by all the new cleanness around me. Buildings and signs and people I have ignored over the winter are suddenly too bright and interesting not to stop and watch. This is a city where people take cherry blossom very seriously; so seriously that it is a weekend and evening pastime to go for a Japanese-style Cherry Blossom walk.
I return home and sit in my garden, chatting to neighbours we haven’t seen since October – everyone is suddenly obsessed with gardening, everyone is growing something, even if it is just a lawn, and we compare notes and growing tips. A queue of hummingbirds at the feeders, surprisingly noisy as they get into fights; apparently queue-jumpers exist everywhere. We cannot wait for the full summer to arrive! Welcome to Spring!