Where I grew up, “Spring is in the air” was a positive, hopeful expression. Snow was thawing. Flowers were blooming again.
Here in Haiti, Spring means a few things. No one really talks about it, because there is no snow to thaw and no new flowers to bloom. There are a few things that identify these months, though.
One, the heat returns. After a few months of downright reasonable temperatures, the days are getting hot again. Nights no longer require a sheet. More heat means more bugs. They are back, after a few months of…whatever they do when it’s cold (seventy degrees).
Two, days are getting longer. It’s not a big difference here closer to the equator, but days are a bit longer than they were a month ago. That is a big deal when much of ‘life’ stops after the sun goes down.
Three, this is the season of the three M’s. In Haiti, three M’s always come around together : May, Mangos, and Mosquitos. As we work our way toward May, excitement builds here in our community. Mango trees flowered weeks ago already, and each bloom is a sign that fruit is on the way. The fruit is now growing bigger each day. In another month, there will be free food available in the “saline” (flat area between here and the beach). Kids and adults will fill their bellies each afternoon with fresh mango. Life is better when your belly is full at least once each day.
Spring also means Easter. Here in rural Haiti, schools stop for Holy Week. People take time to remember the work our Savior did for us leading up to and including the cross. Life. Spring. Shortly after Easter, there is Flag Day…May 18th. It’s a big deal in Haiti…parades and programs. In a normal year, that day is like Memorial Day in that not much real education takes place in schools after that date. All ideas are fixed on summer vacation. This year will be different in that schools are months behind already.
Still, Spring is Spring. Another Caribbean summer is on the way.
Missionary in Haiti.