Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Warily, heart above head, go I into April
Walking out the front door on April's eve, taking in the warm-at-last air, I look left and am greeted by flowering trees that, in various colors, light up each springtime in Georgia – dogwood and cherry. Mine are a white dogwood and two cherries, one pink, one white – all just on the verge of flowering fully. All three grow in the area I'm turning into a meadow.
It is difficult to believe this really is spring, though it clearly is April; the calendar says so. But this is the year of false starts, of promises given, then snatched away, of weather-guessers who uncharacteristically did their did their jobs too well, reliably predicting bad news and delivering it.
What would Edna St. Vincent Millay say to a spring like this? To an April that barely skidded in on temperatures above freezing in Georgia. Not to mention the winter-like conditions north of here. She'd of course say what she said in one of my favorite poems:
To be sure, the unpredictable weather, the dire warnings about worldwide climate change, make me cynical about April's arrival, knowing it may not long remain as beautifully benign as its flowery entrance. Still, we only have one day at a time. And on this day, though I am wary, I cannot help loving what I see and feel. Renewal. Energy. Anticipation. Hope.
Any day now, the leaves on these Japanese maples will be fully open . . .
. . . and Cat Bo will have bountiful red leaves to dress him up. (Click here to read his profile.)
In these early days of April, many of us, especially those of us who dig in dirt, have a willing suspension of disbelief – as Millay must have had, even as she noted the fallacy of falling for the hype. How could any of us resist the almost-open panicles of a purple wisteria?
Or a daphne that was planted in fall, then survived a winter of winters and came back blooming.
No one I know even tries to resist. The fragrances of daphne and wisteria intoxicate, as do so many other plants growing from the sun-warmed earth. We are drunk on April. As was Millay. We're all sailing along willingly if warily, wanting just one more round. Go ahead, April. Hit me again.