The Sure Signs of Spring

It’s not the official holiday of Nooruz or the vernal equinox that signals spring. It is little girls wearing sunglasses as they are dragged behind their mothers on the city sidewalks. It is the first ice cream stand. It is the clusters of bicycles built for two at the edge of Ala-Too Square. It is short sleeves and sandals. It is cafes that have dusted off their outdoor furniture and the people who sat in them today relishing the return to life outside. It is the folding tables that have sprouted with big containers of┬ájarma (a yeasty wheat drink) and maxim (a corn and wheat drink with a zest and a zing to it). It is birdsong and full park benches.

It is glorious. And it is welcomed.