Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Signs of Spring

On Sunday we woke up to a rainy, gloomy morning and thought - oh well, it will be an inside day. But by midday this is what we saw...I would hate to try to be a weather man here. You never know which way Mother Nature will turn! But with the weather so beautiful we headed for the park. Along the way I got excited goosebumps to note signs of Spring. There were flowers blooming and people packed in the sidewalk cafes all over Sablon. They were all smushed in and many facing the street dead on. I find the fact that they often don't face each other - rather orient towards the street - intriguing, and very European.When we got to the park it was as if all the children of Brussels had come too. There were activities of every kind going on. I am sure it was a special festival of sorts, but could never tell what exactly. Under the blue sky it was enchanting. I took a few photos to try to capture some of the "atmosphere" but not sure they did. I love the photo below with the girl with the white pom poms hopping about to her own beat and the life-size chess and checkers looked pretty cool.
The other amazing thing that happened is that along our walk and at the playground I ran into not one, but TWO people I knew! Both were moms in my BCT playgroup, so it is not that far of a fetch to think they would be out and about in the area. But it made me feel so ingrained and happy to happen upon these women and to be able to introduce them to Kirk.

At the playground the usual lonely emptiness vanished and the park was jumpin'! Just see if you can try to find Kirk amidst all the children in this photo. Hint, look at the bottom of the slide. What you can't see is my fearless Connor propelling herself down it over and over and at the end calling out each time "AGAIN!"We left the park and walked the 2 blocks to the St. Michael's Cathedral in Brussels. One of the Youth from our Atlanta church, Trinity Presbyterian, was performing a concert on a special high school Spring Break choir trip. (We were high school Youth Advisors for 4 years at Trinity before moving abroad). What a coincidence! Chris Halwig let us know earlier this week he would be here so we were honored to see and hear him sing.The cathedral arches and walls hummed to their glorious melody which swirled all around us. They definitely didn't sound like a group of teenagers recovering from jet lag! (they landed only the day before)I kept thinking about what a remarkable opportunity to travel to Europe as a high-schooler and to sing in some of the most stunning, acoustically-perfect cathedrals. It would certainly have captivated me! Great job Chris!When we left the concert the skies were still gorgeous. I loved this image of the yellow van selling warm waffles out the window and the black & white dog in the foreground (who Connor of course loved!)I thought to myself, "Yep, Spring is on the way. I think I have survived my first Belgian winter," and I smiled inside. And only by the irony of all ironies did we look out the window at midnight on this very day to see it was dumping buckets of big fat snowflakes everywhere. Guess again.

Certainly it wasn't the 80 degree weather that is occurring back in NC and GA, but I am thankful for the fleeting blue sky day. Maybe Spring wasn't quite ready to bud in full force, but the flirtation of it all was glorious!

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