Kind April

The sun came out briefly one evening last week.  After four days of rain I needed to get out.  A short walk around the block then I sat, for the first time this year, on my porch.  I watched the shadows creep up the face of the houses across the street and crawl into the crown of the tall trees that dominate my neighborhood as the sun set to the west behind me. Too wet still to walk in the yard, I sat listening to the soft suck of the garden, swallowing the melt of the long winter.

Just last week, in the shopping center, piles of coal black, iron hard snow still framed the vast parking lot. But now, in the cracks between the cement squares of the sidewalk, fine hairs of grass, delicate green cilia, are pushing through the mud and moisture, testing the air.  How eager things are to get going. Already, regiments of lawn bags stand, overflowing on neighbors’ tree lawns; the winter swept up, stuffed in plain brown paper, waiting to be carted out of sight and mind.

The poet  (T.S. Eliot, in The Wasteland) says “April is the cruelest month” perhaps reflecting with sad anticipation on the temporality of things even at the moment that they are first coming into being.  I can understand that. This promise of renewal is only that and we know another season of cold and darkness will come.  But here and now, sitting on my porch on a mild evening, after a decidedly cruel winter and despite the rain and mud, I choose to see and hear and feel April as the kindest and most hopeful of months.

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