I recently returned from travels abroad — the first since the onset of Covid. In May, I visited old friends and favorite sites in Germany and Switzerland and France.

In the former East Germany, I celebrated my 92d birthday. In Switzerland, I watched the swans and ducks swimming and the water spout dancing in Geneva’s Lake Leman.

In France, I was driven to Napoleon’s tomb and the Arch of Triumph and along the Left Bank in an electric car. And I spent an evening among the paintings in the Louvre.

As I enjoyed Thuringian bratwurst and beer and birthday cake in the village of Elxleben in Germany, I was remembering a 25th wedding anniversary I had attended there, soon after the Berlin Wall had gone down.

In Switzerland, I shared living quarters at an old friend’s with a Ukrainian mother and her 16-year-old son, refugees from the Dombas region of Ukraine. Beginning to be re-established in Switzerland, they had bought her a raclette machine that melted cheese for a favorite Swiss melted cheese and potatoes dish. It provided a special Sunday lunch.

In France, though I spent most of my time in Paris, a friend and I went for a day to the Loire Valley Chateau of Chenonceaux, renowned for its architecture and its gardens, and the strong-willed women who had lived there. Among them were Diane de Poitiers, the mistress of 16th-century Henry II, and Catherine de Medici, his wife.

But now I am back in West Tisbury, at the perfect time to see the white blossoms on the Kousa dogwood that two old friends and frequent houseguests, the late Sal Laterra and the late Barney Laschever, had planted for me. It gleans white below my guest room window.

The cherries are turning red on the cherry tree my late husband, Tom Cocroft, planted long ago and the high bush blueberries he planted are turning blue. There are still wild roses blooming along Music street. The daisies are not yet all gone in my field.

Below me on Tiasquam Road, Ann Burt’s garden is bright with pink and white impatiens. Rabbits and chipmunks are scampering, and hummingbirds are enjoying sugar water. Swans are nesting on the Tiasquam River behind her house.

At sundown, I frequently encounter a deer leaping across Tiasquam Road.

Sadly, I have missed the rare pink lilies of the valley that Elizabeth Bowie Hough gave me for my garden. Two tubs of tomatoes, however, have been deposited on my deck by Claire Ganz. She always assisted her father, the late Robert N. Ganz Jr, in their Hollyholm vegetable plantings of tomatoes and lima beans in Chilmark. With them, Bob often won blue-ribbons at the annual Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair.

I think I am not yet too late to find blueberries and huckleberries on the Lagoon in Vineyard Haven. How fortunate I am to have enjoyed a European spring and now am on the Vineyard in its summer bloom!

Phyllis Meras lives in West Tisbury.