Spring has sprung in Berlin. There are colorful blooms and freshly green leaves popping up everywhere. Can you help me name all the blooms and blossoms?

This must be my favorite time of the year (although I have some fondness for summer and autumn as well). The sun comes out, the earth comes back to life, the spirit lifts, the heart sings – everyone is full of hope for new beginnings, rebirth and the satisfaction that we somehow have survived another winter.

It reminds me of a Brooklyn neighbor years ago, whom I saw for the first time after months of winter when we both ran out into our backyards on the first spring-like day and she exclaimed: “Ah, it’s good to know it wasn’t depression after all – it was just winter.”

Also I have to think about a recent Twitter conversation with Franc Tausch of FilmKritikTV who lives in LA and, like all people living in “year-round-great-weather”, must miss out on the sudden joy over this drastic change in weather and atmosphere. Okay, it’s only a little consolation – I’d be very happy to live in the Southern California climate, if it wasn’t for all the driving and the suburban feel.

On a more serious note, the fresh cherry blossoms also make me think of Japan, where they are probably in full bloom now as well. I’m afraid they may be in a cruel juxtaposition to the devastation, the lives lost and the uncertain future in many areas, especially Fukushima. But maybe they also bring hope to people: as a symbol of that new beginning and rebirth.

The music featured is the song “Elevator” by Jason Matherne.

Crocus Field in Humboldthain Park

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