April in Paris has come in March.
Daffodils and crocuses have popped up all around town. Cherry trees are in blossom (I’ve been cracking myself up by calling them the made-up word “neigiers”, or “snow trees”). Black down coats have been replaced by black light jackets.
And the most exciting sign that spring has indeed sprung? The Wallace Fountains are flowing again all around Paris. In the 1870s, an Englishman named Sir Richard Wallace decided that Paris should have free drinking water, available from beautiful structures decorated by caryatids and dolphins. The 67 fountains only flow from March 15 to November 15.
It’s easy to forget that warm breezes exist after Paris’s gently persistent winters. I’ve been walking around the city this week in shock, feeling like I haven’t seen the sun for months.
Early spring is my favorite moment in Paris, with its delicate quality of light and sweet hints of changing seasons. The New Year doesn’t start for me in January, but the moment the world itself shows that change is possible.
My aunt lives on a farm in Vermont where she has a flock of Navajo-Churro sheep. For her, the rebirth of spring starts in the winter, when her ewes are pregnant with their spring lambs. She says that even in the darkest, snowiest moments of winter, she knows that there is life in the barn waiting to be born come spring.