cherry blossoms in full bloom

 "Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colours, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."  ~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

Spring...without a doubt one the most beautiful and stunning season Mother Earth has to offer, if you ask me. I cannot think of anything nicer than to finally shrug off that thick winter jacket and scarf, slip into a light cardigan and bathe in the sun. Add to that a good book, a hot cup of coffee and a tree to lean back against and I'm the first to firmly grasp the chance to escape the tediousness of real life for a few hours. Watching butterflies fluttering through the air never gets old and what with the birds generously sharing their songs there's almost no need to bring your iPod with you.

Spring is truly a mesmerising season. Everything is new, full of colour and song, the sun's determined to sweeten our afternoons and early evenings. It's finally warmer and the icy gusts of wind have seemingly been replaced by a mild, playful breeze. It's also no longer pitch dark at 5pm - hallelujah! I for one am whole-heartedly in love with spring - always have been, even as a child. Winter was dull and boring and my mother would pointedly hide behind a 500-page novel whenever I asked her to take me to the playground. "It's too cold, go play with your dolls or read a book," Let me tell you, at eight years old you're well and truly fed up when you hear that line for three months in a row... The moment spring hits and it's time to replace the jeans, boots, jumpers and jackets with sandals, skirts and cardigans, well I was first in line. Finally (!) my mother didn't mind accompanying me from one playground to another. She was happy to do her brainteasers and read her books in the sun while I climbed trees, ganged up with the boys to tease the girls and built impressive sand castles.

Every now and then my mum would even make beautiful daisy wreaths for me and I'd if I pleaded long enough I sometimes even got a scoop or two of ice-cream on the way home. Mum and I would take out our bikes and do day trips and dad would breathe a sigh of relief - he could finally start on that crime thriller he'd been hoping to read without being forced to answer some 20,001 questions. My sister would take me out on various hiking trips and we'd gather beautiful wild flowers to keep in vases all around the house. There were more strawberries, grapes and cherries than a little girl like me could possibly eat and life appeared to be a lot more beautiful in general. Teachers dragged us out into the garden for lessons and my German teacher appeared to have a never-ending supply of poems about spring such as "Er Ist's" (website has an English translation) by Eduard Mörike. We got to play basketball out in the sun instead of the dark gym of course it was time to practice long jumps, relays, long throws and 100m sprints - I hated all of that.

A few years later trips to the playground got replaced with lazy afternoon's spend in my friend's garden, trips to the basketball court to watch the boys play (on the odd occasion I'd play too, of course only to show the boys how it was done!), lengthy bicycle trips and whenever it was warm enough we were off to the outdoor swimming pool to make thorough use of the 110m long water-slide and the jumping towers. On the weekends there were barbecues and my sister backed the most delicious cakes and I'd help her make fruit salads and scrapbooks full of flower blossoms and blades of grass. We made countless of day-trips to the surrounding zoos and wild-parks and dad dragged me out to his friend's farm. I got to play in the barn, feed cute little rabbits and baby goats and munch on as many fresh fruits as I wanted - mostly we spent many hours sat on various branches of a stunning, old cherry tree and we ate cherries until we got stomach cramps.

With such brilliant memories of gorgeous spring days, spent outside enjoying the sun, it really isn't much of a surprise that I love everything spring and judging by this impressive list of spring festivals around the world, I'm seemingly not the only one - there's too many to even try to pick out a favourite.

Whilst most days are now spent working to earn a living I still enjoy spring to the fullest and how could I not? Walking to work in the sunshine beats icy roads and snow storms by 10,000 miles and somehow even studying makes more fun when it's warm and bright. Stephen's Green Park is one of my firm favourites come spring and the People's Garden in Phoenix Park is quite stunning too and from there Dublin Zoo is only a stone's throw away. Powerscourt Gardens are truly stunning (I took the picture at the beginning of the post there) and always worth a trip, especially when you want to get out of Dublin...like I usually do.

All in all, I think I could quite happily keep spring forever although all good things should be enjoyed in moderation so I think it's only fair that we give summer and autumn a chance too...as for winter, erm, well, no thanks!

Note: Pictures shared are my own and were taken in Powerscourt Gardens, Enniskerry, County Wicklow.