Isn’t it always cold there? (no) Are there bears in the streets? (no) Does everyone drink vodka? (no) Do they only eat potatoes and cabbage? (n0) Will it be snowing when you arrive? (NO NO NO!) On the contrary, dear readers. Russian spring is underway and the city is in bloom…and not just in the literal sense, either. But…have a glimpse at the literal beauty I am absorbing and delighting in.
When the sun comes out…so do the Russians…to the embankment of the Volga…to their dachas outside the city and to the hundreds of local parks where kids run and play, lovers stroll, and grannies push their grandbabies in strollers. Cherry and apple trees are pushing out blooms by the millions. Sometimes their sweet fragrance overshadows the fumes from the traffic jams and transport buses. So…no snow. Not cold (I wore capris and sandals yesterday) and ate a picnic lunch on Sunday fit for any red-blooded American who would be so wise as to visit Russia in the spring.
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that optimism is the mood for this Russian spring. I saw it in the smiles of the people enjoying an ice cream on the embankment, in the eyes of the kids running relay races, in the happy jump of a young boy with his soccer ball. I feel it in the warm embraces of greeting as I meet each friend again…the hugs last a little longer, the words of welcome sound a little sweeter. Something special is happening. Hope you stay tuned!