Sunday, April 06, 2008
On April's Storms and Cruelty
"APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers. . ."
So wrote T.S. Eliot at the beginning of The Wasteland. So far April has been not cruel, but wonderful, bringing sun and forgotten warmth to this part of the globe. But I know that those legendary April showers are coming, as cold front meets warm front in something akin to the Battle of the Titans. And every year at this time we start to get tornado warnings.
But that's not really April's fault. My mother, when we were young and wanted curlers in our hair (the old scratchy kind that made it impossible to sleep comfortably), would say "Eitle keit muss pain leiden," or "Vanity must suffer."
I equate that with the beauty of April, for which both it and we must pay the consequences--those tempests that bring calm days and fragrant blossoms. So my contention is that April is a month not so much cruel as lovely, and a bit proud of that loveliness.