The trees flower in waves in Central Europe – one breaks on the shore, and as it slowly retreats another gathers force and rushes in to replace the void the withdrawing wave has left behind. Two weeks ago, it was the white tufts of wild plum blossoms erupting onto an otherwise stark and barren landscape. The plum blossoms have since fallen away, littering the earth with their fragrant, white teardrops. The moment the last plum blossom petal touched the ground, the sour cherry blossoms flowered, and they now reign in full bloom over an increasingly green landscape. In a few days’ time, they too shall fall away, and be replaced with apple blossoms. After that, the black locust and horse chestnut will take over and fleck the landscape with their own special shades of white and maroon.
The flowering ceases at about the same time the first cuckoos return, but by then the rapeseed fields surrounding my village will blaze the countryside in deep butter-yellow. The natives of this region rarely mention any of it. For them it is commonplace, but for someone like me - having grown up in a country where mid-April snow shoveling was routine and expected - these waves of blossoms and flowers in the early spring are nothing short of sublime.