Almond trees in bloom

Spring in western Colorado, where I grew up, is not really a thing.  There’s winter, then some wind, some smoke from farmers burning fields, some more winter and then it’s June.  My mom planned Easter dresses and egg hunts around snow coats and 60 MPH winds and there is no planting your garden till Mothers’ Day weekend near the end of May.

But here, in this warmer climate, spring is a delight.  We are easing out of a short, but cold winter and I am appreciating for the first time, why spring could be a favorite season.  Here are some things about spring in Silk Road City that I’m especially enjoying.

note: all the photos are from a trip we took earlier this week to a park/orchard on the edge of town

running free in the open green space -- not something we get to do very often so it's a joy when it happens.

running free in the open green space — not something we get to do very often so it’s a joy when it happens.

  1. Less layers:  Our mud house is heated by one coal stove and it never gets much warmer than 69 degrees and quite a bit colder in the bedrooms. It’s lovely to be able to shed a layer or two of clothes and to type this up in my living room without gloves.

2. Plastic on the windows: In the same vein, the house also needs layers to keep our heat in.  The windows are as leaky as certain Wiki sites and need an extra cover of thick plastic on the outsides.  When they came off this last weekend it was like getting glasses cleaned and realizing the world wasn’t as dirty and grey as it had seemed.

taking a break from all the running for a brotherly chat

taking a break from all the running for a brotherly chat

3. The return of fruit and veggies: We live in a town surrounded by subsistence farm land and in a country with little in the way of imports.  So when winter comes around, mostly what we can find in the bazaar are potatoes, onions, carrots and cauliflower.  Oranges and apples are the only kinds of fruit for a while, so it’s always a day of rejoicing when the apricot and cherry trees start blooming and tomatoes and cucumbers from southern Afghanistan start appearing in the bazaar.  Soon, it will be mango season, which will only last a few weeks, but those are glorious weeks indeed.

4. New Years Day: That’s right.  The New Year is celebrated on March 21st, spring equinox, a homage to Afghanistan’s pre-Islamic days when it was part of the Zoroastrian Persian empire.  Naw Roz (new day) is celebrated with everyone going out for picnics, dressed up in new clothes and ready for a new year. It’s festive and fun and makes so much more sense to celebrate a new year outside with new growing things, a new school year about to start and new baby lambs every where instead of celebrating new things in the middle of the cold, dark winter.

sun on our faces and feet

sun on our faces and feet

5. It’s not hot — yet.  I’m trying to enjoy this slow slide into summer and not dread the coming heat.  It’s hard when it’s already so warm in March, knowing that it only gets warmer from here.  But today it’s cool and raining and the kitchen is cold enough that it feels good to bake bread and drink another cup of hot coffee. These pleasantly cool days won’t last long and I’m going to relish them.

She thinks she's a sheep whisperer

She thinks she’s a sheep whisperer

The shepard and his boys

The Shepard and his boys

What about you?  Do you love spring or is it a non event in your part of the world?