Springtime is my favourite period of the year. Belgian winters are long, windy and humid. Spring comes in as a sort of incentive after several months of grey and short days, where one cannot see the sun very often.
Spring brings in torrents of colours, from the vivid and raw green to milky white, passing through vibrant yellow, tinted red and polychrome purple.
Belgian springtime gets me back to my childhood springs. They were different, softer and warmer. Here in Belgium I differently perceived the nature richness and its incredible power to come back to life.
The Belgian landscapes could not make it for my childhood springs. Instead I got in return the chance to admire plants and trees I did not see in my village. What fascinates me is the Japanese cherry tree with its varieties. Sakura is very popular in Evere, where I live. They are everywhere and when they bloom, everything turns in red-pink or white-pink.
My childhood springs
I grew up in a village where the spring sounds were wafting gently into my mind. Nothing can replace those sounds. While hiking and hanging around in the village and its surroundings, I enjoyed every moment of nature changes with the plum blossoms, blooming tree branches, their colours and perfumes.
My childhood springs somehow are “my green, green grass from home”. I do not own a garden in Evere, but the only way I could keep alive these feelings and emotions was to set up a small garden on our terrace and enjoy long walks around.
Spring had its magic in my village. I particularly enjoyed the moments when nosing and discovering the new surrounding smells, from the moist soil to the refreshing wood, from the bird sounds to rain noise.
Any humble signs of vegetation getting back to life were reasons to appreciate nature, which got richer and greener from one day to another.
My village wood
What is still very fresh in my mind is the village wood, located some kilometres away from the village. Going to the wood, in spring, was the main season trip. We prepared well for the trip and we called for other village children to join us.
We needed to follow a road crossing a misty and silent plain where the wood was just a strange shape swallowed by the darkness in the horizon line. If it rained earlier, the road would have been full of mud. We did not mind at all. On the contrary the trip was enjoyable, as at the end we were able to admire the first wood plants and flowers.
Hallerbos, another wood in another place
I miss my childhood wood, but I get the chance to enjoy Hallerbos Wood here, in Belgium. Hallerbos changes its clothing colours from one week to another. Hallerbos is the wood name in Dutch while its English version is Halle’s Wood and its French correspondent is Bois de Hal. It is located on the outskirts of the city of Halle, not far from Brussels.
Hallerbos reminds me of my childhood wood. It particularly helps me get the energy and green emotions from its bright branches, bird songs and the colours on the ground. They change from yellow to white, from blue-purple to finally stay green for the next months until the autumns change them in red and golden brown. Each year the wood configuration goes through wood snowdrops, wood anemones, yellow wild daffodils and the famous blue-purple wild bells.
Most of the pictures were taken in the Bon Pasteur Park, Evere, Brussels
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