In his poem, The Wasteland, T.S. Eliot describes April as the cruelest month.
While my literature professor would disagree, I take issue with the poet.
From an early age, I have always loved the arrival of spring. The cold, harsh days of winter are fading and new life is appearing all around us, as April opens the door to spring.
Breaking out of the colorless winter days, golden forsythia is the first to burst on the scene, followed by beds chocked full of daffodils.
Redbud trees display their wonderful splash of color, seeming to urge the larger oaks, sycamores and maples to produce various shades of buds.
In the shadow of the larger trees the dainty dogwood makes its appearance, often with a mixture of solid white and pale pink variations, blended together in a shaded grove of small trees.
As if to inspect Mother Nature’s handiwork, the robins put in an appearance, busily carrying nesting material to nearby trees. Within weeks, sky-blue eggs will produce featherless nestlings with gapping mouths competing for what fare momma robin can bring. The soft sounds of lovely spring days will now be complemented with the chorus of chirping newborns.
As I walk to my mail box I am greeted by a new mother happily pushing her rosy-cheeked toddler in a bright blue stroller, smiles on their faces as they make their way through the abundant colors of spring all around them.
On Indian River Creek a mother duck emerges from the island rushes, followed by eight little downy ducklings, each paddling away to take position nearest mom as she leads them to a grassy field where seeds, small insects and other treats are abundant.
As I sit on my deck enjoying the warmth of the sun, I see a small chipmunk emerging from his den following a long winter’s nap. I watch as he gathers acorns and an occasional hickory nut, stuffing them into his cheeks and swelling them to twice their normal size. Returning to the den he hesitates to enter, as his partner emerges followed by three little pups, experiencing their first venture out of the den. As mom bounds across the grass lawn, the little chipmunks, fuzzy tails raised high, bounce along behind. Curiosity is ever present as they explore the new world beyond the den. Whenever one falls behind, Mom turns to scold him with loud chirps until he responses and takes his place in line.
I take pause to recall the words of the poet, and wonder if he ever experienced this beautiful world unfolding in front of me, a world of fresh colors, beyond description, and new life abounding everywhere.
For me, April is the most wonderful month, a rebirth of life and a reawakening we experience once a year.
Like the downy ducklings, and the frolicking chipmunks I feel a new energy and love of life, a renewal of sorts, only spring can bring.
Thank you, April.