Hemingway | Spring Always Came Finally

Spring Blossoms
“There were so many trees in the city, you could see the spring coming each day until a night of warm wind would bring it suddenly in one morning. Sometimes the heavy cold rains would beat it back so that it would seem that it would never come and that you were losing a season out of your life. This was the only truly sad time in Paris because it was unnatural. You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason.
In those days, though, the spring always came finally but it was frightening that it had nearly failed.” Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
I sat with a friend over the weekend in the first streams of Portland sunlight. "Did the cherries bloom yet?" she asked. It was halfway through the month of June. But, there were never any blossoms along the waterfront this year. I would remember. I watched for them every morning as I crossed the bridge to downtown. They sky stayed gray, and the branches stark.

Months ago I walked to check, to see if the small buds were opening. There were no pink petals. They had all turned brown; had fallen in clumps, rather than catching the wind like snow.

I tried to write what it's like, when winter runs to the edge of summer. I thought about losing a season out of my life. I decided to share his lines, though for most of you Spring is gone, and for some of us Spring never came.  Hemingway can say it better than I can, even when he is just talking about the weather.

[ on 120mm with Diana F+.  Another look at my silent-spring on Flickr]


  1. LOVE the photo.

    do you know that i have never read Hemingway? shocking, no? he's on my list though. so i particularly enjoyed reading this excerpt.

    we barely have a Spring here, or Autumn. it makes me a little melancholy for a short time.

  2. This is beautiful - your description and his. I've never read Moveable Feast, but after seeing Midnight in Paris this weekend, I really want to read it and more of Hemingway's work.
    Chicago nearly missed out on spring this year. We glimpsed it on certain days, and other days summer showed up out of nowhere at 90 to 100 degrees. Today is cold, barely 60 degrees and rainy again. I guess spring and summer are taking turns.

  3. Monica - This was my first Hemingway book too (so up until about two weeks ago, I was right there with you). A Moveable Feast is the perfect introduction to Hemingway. I struggle with war novels, but this one is set in Paris during his happiest times. I've heard it's pretty different than his other books

    Bethany - I saw Midnight in Paris last week too! Totally played into my 'Hemingway phase'. I think all the posts this week will be a little related.


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