Today was the first day that I was truly able to experience spring in Paris. I found myself standing amidst blossoming cherry trees and various kinds of blooming flowers on my walk from the Champs-Élysées to the bridge of Alexander the 3rd. I was not here alone, as I was actively taking part in a field study of the buildings erected, over the course of five World’s Fairs to be hosted in Paris from the 1860s to the 1930s, along the banks of the Seine as part of a class on the history of Paris through the lens of Parisian architecture; just one of a number of classes I have been taking during my time abroad. There was not a cloud in the sky, and the slight humidity and warm breeze allowed me to ditch the jacket I had been forced to wear for most of the semester in favor of soaking up some of the sun rays unadulterated by the cloudy skies that have dominated my stay in Paris.
Springtime is long-awaited, and its arrival is neither sudden nor overwhelming. Rather, hints of sun rays cut through the seemingly ever-present overcast skies during March of each year, providing slight glimmers of hope to all of Paris. Once the sun is strong enough to dissipate the cloud cover, the streets are awash in warm ways amidst a temperate breeze and much excitement. The parks and café terraces, previously deserted, are now overflowing with Parisians sipping espresso and smoking cigarettes. Reminiscent of a scene from a movie, this microcosm of Parisian life blossoms from the grey winter days like elegant vegetation, filling me with a sense of wonder and delight that I doubt I will find anywhere else in the world.