Walk about town

I live on a street named Plantan Sor, so named for its long row of plane trees, which are protected in Zalaegerszeg. Following my street to one of its terminations, one passes beneath a stately old tree that has been taken over by the Crow Gang. They sit high in their perches waiting for passersby below; when one is in sight they leap to a branch, pounce up and down until the branch breaks and falls below. They get off a good cackle if a particularly large branch manages to scare the bejesus out of a human. The only part of the immediately preceding that isn’t true is the pouncing; they’re big enough and heavy enough they just have to sit and wait for gravity to do its job. The sidewalk is littered with their debris.

This morning I commented to the teachers that the small flowers that grow in large clusters brighten my walk; one of the teachers asked if I’d seen the violets, and I was thinking of violets from the U.S. On the afternoon walk I noticed them, the most precious small blossoms no more than an inch and a half off the ground. Then I saw the smallest daisy-like blossom, then hundreds more, then the even smaller palest bluebonnet blue flower – an alpine meadow of sorts.

The Chinese memorial is in front of an apartment building.

Huge balls of mistletoe are everywhere.

The first day of spring here was marked by new moms taking their infants out for a walk in the park, kids running jacketless, me going sweaterless, colleagues wearing springy pastels – I can’t remember the advent of spring being as glorious anywhere else.  And we had a prelude of two days, then on the day itself everything just seemed to change.

Joy Spring (Clifford Brown)


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