Citrus and shine like the sun

I am sorry. I am not as dutiful and attentive a blogger as I think I should strive to be. But let me just say one thing: school got its serious-business face out, and it wasn't kidding around! Well, I suppose in the strictest sense I could have made the time to scratch out a few words in April (oops) but this month... yeah. Hello, exams. You're a lot bigger up close.

However, as any vegan must, I have been consuming consumables. That orange up above is one of a rash of glorious citrus which appeared early on in May, which has now departed, leaving me to mourn the loss. I have no idea what specific variety of orange they were - dappled with raspberry-red pigment in skin and flesh, sweet to the taste and unexpectedly easy to peel, they might have been slightly anemic blood oranges.

But their sudden disappearance got me thinking about the change in the weather, the change in the seasons. Up here in the northeast of Scotland, it's not hard to forget that the rest of the world is experiencing warm weather and sunshine. The locals have all been amiably joking that the golden sunshine and paradisiac warmth of last weekend was our three days of summer... and with the overcast, chilly days punctuated with spells of showers, they do rather seem to be correct. There is, however, something fresh about these squalls, something decidedly spring-ish. The smell of the rain is brighter, the drops are larger and they don't fall sideways. The birds only stop singing during the most tempestuous periods. And, oh yeah, the sun doesn't set until ten.

I'm a Californian by birth and early childhood. This concept of 'seasons' still amazes me, even having lived six years in Canada (well, as much as the Pacific Northwest counts - certainly more than the SF or Monterey bay areas!) and this being my second May here. There's something so magical about bearing witness to the slow but constant transition from the first hale and hearty robins perched on bare branches to the constant twitter from each green bough draped with fine white blossom. My feet haven't gone numb walking from the house to class in over a month. And - oh yeah, this is my vegan blog - ever so slowly, the fruit is coming into season.

I love snowangels and curling up with a mug of tea and hours of bad Christmas reruns, and I love the early spring robins trilling into a spun-sugar sky, but however much I bemoan muggy days and the smell of hot grass and the midges, I love the time at the step from spring to summer when the fresh, local produce arrives. Being so far up in the boonies has really made me appreciate this a heck of a lot more. I'm a lot more hesitant to make a mango smoothie in February than I once was. And I'm certainly more appreciative of a punnet of gooseberries or tomatoes that don't taste like sadness and ice.

So yeah, exams are hard. And I miss you, funny marled oranges. But roll on the springtime fruits, I say. I am more than ready.

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