So “What of April? ” you say. Surely not “April is the cruelest month ” as penned by TS Eliot. How could any month be crueler than this past February and March – maybe even January? I prefer to go with Shakespeare: “ When well-appareled April on the heel of limping winter treads.” Romeo and Juliet
April holds such promise! The name itself comes from the Latin word “apetire” meaning to open, bud. So here come tulips, daffodils and my own favorite: forsythia. They talk about April showers, but when I think of April it is sunny ,and I would paint it yellow and green.
This year Easter came in April, a much kinder setting than March. Along with Easter we had Maundy Thursday – and of course Passover –and Good Friday. We heard the many sacred songs and readings but also “In your Easter Bonnet” and “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” Buddha’s birthday is considered to be April 8th.
There are many other important days in April: There’s Baseball Opening Day, once we get safely past April Fool’s Day. When I was a kid, in Boston April 19th was “Paul Revere Day,” but it has become “Patriots’ Day” – still a holiday. This year they will establish a new holiday in Boston to commemorate the bombing at the Boston Marathon. This holiday, April 15th, is to be named “One Boston Day” Not that anyone is likely to forget that horrendous event, but this holiday recognizes the victims and the heroes and the spirit of the city itself on that day and will live in perpetuity.
Tax Day is not exactly celebrated but is a date to remember while Arbor Day is pretty much forgotten. You can’t get through Arbor Day without thinking of Joyce Kilmer’s poem “Trees.” One Arbor Day we of South Mountain Elementary School (NJ) stood outside for the planting of a tree in memory of a nine year old (RIP Debbie Saul) who had died of cancer in the fall. What I remember most is that as we stood in the rain, the superintendent of schools used a watering can to “water” the tree and in his words seemed to take credit for its future growth and nourishment. Ironic? Typical!
Let’s not overlook Earth Day, April 22nd. The poor Earth could use every act of kindness available. We have not been good to her.
But more than anything, to me, April is that month of hope and promise. “When proud-pied April dressed in all his trim hath put a spirit of youth in everything. “ Shakespeare Sonnet XCVIII So, here’s to that spirit of youth in all of us!
© Dorothy C. Judd
Next post: April 13th